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Effects at farm and community level of the adoption of sprinkler irrigation in the Ecuadorian Andes.

Communal T., Faysse N., Bleuze S., Alcedo B.. 2016. Irrigation and Drainage, 65 (4) : p. 559-567.

The shift from surface to sprinkler or drip irrigation has been hailed as a promising way to improve the performance of community-managed irrigation schemes, but its effects have mainly been assessed at plot level. The study assesses the changes in water distribution and collective maintenance rules and in farm production patterns, which may be triggered or supported by the introduction of this technique. The case study reported here is a community-managed irrigation scheme in the Ecuadorian Andes. At the farm level, farmers spent less labour time per hectare on irrigation. Farms endowed with more land and water resources used sprinkler irrigation to intensify their agricultural activities. By contrast, many farms with limited water and land resources used the time saved by shifting to sprinkler to increase off-farm work. At the community level, the shift reduced the frequency of the irrigation turn and increased the reliability of water distribution. Sprinkler irrigation thus appears to be a versatile tool that helped farms evolve in different directions. However, to enable a significant improvement in farmers' ability to earn a living from farming, it should be part of a global approach that also tackles farm constraints which are not connected with access to water. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : gestion des eaux; petite exploitation agricole; adoption de l'innovation; culture irriguée; irrigation par aspersion; région andine; Équateur

Thématique : Irrigation; Ressources en eau et leur gestion

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