Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 6 (4), pp. 151-158, April 2016.
Manuscript Number: 022616046
Agricultural Water Management in Sub – Sahara Africa: Options for Sustainable Crop Production
Agada Odu Odo
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Unversity Putra, Malaysia,43400, Serdang, Selangor.
In spite of her vast resource base, the majority of the population of Sub – Saharan Africa remain in a poverty trap engendered largely by poor agricultural productivity. One of the culprits for this consistently low agricultural performance is the poor management of her agricultural water resources. This paper reviews the current state of agricultural water management in the region and considers a number of the options available for sustainable intensification. The paper advocates an enlightened development of irrigation as part of a new perspective for improving rainfed agriculture. This perspective considers it a waste to seek system sustainability and resilience whilst the key players are incapacitated by poverty. The paper, therefore, recommends that any policy or strategy for productivity growth must be driven by the primary goal of empowering farmers as the main focus and not just a by-product of productivity improvement. To achieve this, improving water management in rainfed system appears the best option.
Keywords: Water harvesting, In-field water management, Sub-Saharan Africa, Water management, Poverty trap.
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