Promoting a Smallholder-Centered Approach to Irrigation: Lessons from Village Irrigation Schemes in the Senegal River Valley

"In this paper, we examine the empirical validity of these norms. Having identified the trends common to colonial and post-colonial policy with regard to agricultural development, we briefly review the historical background to the emergence of the current design procedures for hydroagricultural schemes. We analyse the sociological research dealing with the phenomenon of irrigation in Africa, from the point of view of its contribution to the analysis of the crisis in hydro-agricultural production. We then identify the factors which explain an isolated case of success, namely the village irrigation schemes in the middle regions of the Senegal river valley. We pinpoint two factors governing the viability of hydroagricultural infrastructure, viz, the dynamics of the smallfarmer production system and the local political system. We conclude by presenting the changes needed in terms of planning and designing hydro-agricultural schemes."
water resources, irrigation