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Failure and success factors of irrigation system developments – a case study from the Ouémé and Zou valleys in Benin

Failure and success factors of irrigation system developments – a case study from the Ouémé and Zou valleys in Benin

Djagba, Justin F., Rodenburg, Jonne ORCID: 0000-0001-9059-9253, Zwart, Sander J., Houndagba, Cossi J. and Kiepe, Paul (2013) Failure and success factors of irrigation system developments – a case study from the Ouémé and Zou valleys in Benin. Irrigation and Drainage, 63 (3). pp. 328-339. ISSN 1531-0353 (Print), 1531-0361 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/ird.1794)

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Abstract

In the period 1960–1980, Chinese and Taiwanese cooperations developed irrigated rice schemes throughout West Africa with variable success. In Benin for instance, schemes in Zonmon and Bamè (Ouémé Valley) were abandoned upon withdrawal of the project developers and have been sub-optimally used ever since, while the neighbouring scheme of Koussin-Lélé (Zou Valley) is still functional (double rice cropping) and well operated and maintained by the farmers. The factors for success and failure were investigated by comparing the two abandoned schemes with the successful one, using field observations and stakeholder surveys. We observed that (i) operation and maintenance costs associated with irrigation were presumably lower in the successful scheme––where irrigation was driven by gravity––compared to the failed ones––where part of the schemes were designed for motor-pump driven irrigation. Moreover, contrary to the situation in the unsuccessful schemes, farmers in the successful scheme of Koussin-Lélé benefit from (ii) external technical support, (iii) a favourable land tenure policy, entailing seasonal redistribution of plots favouring active and motivated producers, (iv) reliable access to credit, and (v) an effective farmer organization. These observations underscore the importance of addressing the longer-term technical and financial needs of the beneficiaries for the successful development of irrigation schemes advancing smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: local communities, irrigation development, irrigated system rehabilitation, rice production, sub-Saharan Africa
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Development Studies Research Group
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2019 15:27
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19051

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