Innovations to promote growth among small-scale irrigators in Africa

Farm irrigation in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania c. Lecucurbitacee

Farm irrigation in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania c. Lecucurbitacee

Elizabeth Harrison, University of Sussex

Start Date: 17 November 2012   |   End Date: 03 August 2015

Project website
Research Councils UK project page

Research briefing: Innovations  to promote growth among small scale irrigators
Working paper: The Politics of Small-Scale Irrigation in Tanzania
Innovation to promote growth among small scale irrigators: policy briefing 1, policy briefing 2
Research in ContextTanzania: Irrigation, formal institutions and water governance
Thesis: The potential for irrigated rice production to enhance small-holder livelihoods in Tanzania
Blog: Farmers versus big business: the politics of irrigation in Tanzania
Journal Article: Anthropology and impact evaluation: a critical commentary
Journal article: The livelihood approach to innovation of small-scale irrigation in Noakhall Char area in Bangladesh
Research briefing: Small-scale irrigation in Malawi - challenges and opportunities
Policy briefing: Innovation in small-scale irrigation: formality, scale and sustainability
Journal article: Differentiated legitimacy, differentiated resilience: beyond the natural in ‘natural disasters'

This project examines the rules and norms governing access to and control over water by smallholder farmers, considering how these are influenced by externally-induced innovations and the effects of climate change.

The research aims to determine if general principles of water allocation and equity can be identified, and what the scope is for transferring them across contexts. It involves comparative research in Bangladesh, Tanzania and Malawi.

Key questions include:

  • What are the ‘local rules’ for governing access to water and what shapes these?
  • What is the relationship between ‘local’ rules and ‘outside’ influences such as government, business and NGO initiatives?
  • How are the politics of water control changing?