Delft, The Netherlands, 28 Jul 2017

Book launch: Drip Irrigation for Agriculture

Initially associated with hi-tech irrigated agriculture, drip irrigation is now being used by a much wider range of farmers in emerging and developing countries. Margreet Zwarteveen, Professor of Water Governance at IHE Delft has edited the book, together with Jean-Philippe Venot, researcher at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement and Marcel Kuper, senior irrigation scientist at the Water Management Research Unit.

This book documents the enthusiasm, spread and use of drip irrigation systems by smallholders in the global South, in an attempt to explore and explain under which conditions it works, for whom and with what effects. The book deals with drip irrigation "behind the scene", showcasing what largely remain "untold stories".

Most studies on drip irrigation use plot-level studies to demonstrate the technology’s ability to save water or improve efficiencies and use a narrow and rather prescriptive engineering or economic language. They tend to be grounded in a firm belief in the technology and focus on the identification of ways to improve or better realize its potential. The technology also figures prominently in poverty alleviation or agricultural modernization narratives, figuring as a tool to help smallholders become more innovative, entrepreneurial and business minded.

Instead of focusing on its potential, this book looks at drip irrigation-in-use, making sense of what it does from the perspectives of the farmers who use it, and of the development workers and agencies, policy makers, private companies, local craftsmen, engineers, extension agents or researchers who engage with it for a diversity of reasons and to realize a multiplicity of objectives. 

The book 'Drip Irrigation for Agriculture' can be purchased here