Transitioning to groundwater irrigated intensified agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: An indicator-based assessment.


Amjath-Babu, TS., Krupnik, T., Kaechele, H., Aravindakshan, S. and Sietz, D.

Journal or Book Title: Agricultural Water Management

Volume/Issue: 168

Page Number(s): 125-135


Growing populations, changing market conditions, and the food security risks posed by rainfed croppingand climate change collectively indicate that Sub-Saharan African nations could benefit from transform-ing agricultural production to more intensive yet resilient and sustainable systems. Although highlyunderutilized, emerging evidence indicates that groundwater may be more widely available than pre-viously thought, highlighting its potential role in facilitating such a transformation. Nevertheless, thepossibility for such a transition is conditioned by number of complex factors. We therefore constructa transition index that integrates data considering groundwater and energy availability and cost, mar-ket access, infrastructural needs, farm conditions and natural resource stocks, labor availability, climate,population density, as well as economic and political framework variables, using a principal componentanalysis based methodology. Using the consequent multi-dimensional transition index and constituentintermediate indices, we provide an assessment of groundwater irrigation potential discussed in consid-eration of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zambia, Namibia, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe.Our results, though preliminary, provide a methodology for conducting such an integrated assessment,while deriving a holistic set of policy options considering the transition towards appropriate use ofgroundwater for agricultural development.

Type of Publication: Journal Article