Pro-poor intervention strategies in irrigated agriculture in Asia: issues, lessons, options and guidelines† uri icon

abstract

  • Irrigation is an essential part of the package of technologies, institutions and policies that underpins increased agricultural output in Asia. Past experience shows that this package, although broadly beneficial to societies, has not yet fully succeeded in banishing poverty. So in the context of the UN millennium development goal of halving world poverty by the year 2015, are there ways of making the package more pro-poor in the future? In 2001-2002, the author, at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and in collaboration with national partners in Asia, launched a major multi-country study that set out to answer this question. The study explored the links between irrigation and poverty alleviation in six Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam and Indonesia) with the aim of determining realistic options for increasing returns to poor farmers in low-productivity irrigated areas within the context of improving the overall performance and sustainability of the established irrigation systems. This unique mega study is based on primary data collected from over 5400 rural households covering 26 irrigation systems, supplemented with reliable secondary data and a review of global topical literature on the subject. It develops a framework for pro-poor interventions in irrigated agriculture and offers a model for designing future pro-poor projects in irrigated agriculture. This paper provides a succinct summary of the synthesized results, conclusions and lessons learnt from this major multi-country study. The summary of the lessons, pro-poor options and the guidelines presented in this paper could be useful for government policyrnakers and planners, donors, NGOs, researchers and other stakeholders involved in irrigation and rural poverty alleviation efforts in developing Asia and elsewhere. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2007