The impact of investment in smallholder irrigation schemes on irrigation expansion and crop productivity in Malawi uri icon


  • Reliance on rainfall for agriculture and increased climate change and variability pose growing production risks in developing countries. Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa is dominated by smallholder farmers who depend mainly on rain-fed agriculture, putting food security at both household and national levels at risk, especially in the event of drought. Investment in smallholder irrigation becomes a priority in developing countries if food security and national development goals are to be met, as their economies are agro-based. This study evaluates the impact of investment in smallholder irrigation schemes in Malawi on improving crop production and productivity in comparison with rain-fed agriculture. The area under smallholder irrigation schemes increased from 15 988 ha in 2003 to about 42 986 ha in 2011, contributing immensely to national food production. Irrigated maize production increased from 78 159 tons in 2000 to 544 378 tons in 2013

publication date

  • 2016