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Waso: An innovative device to uncover independent converging opinions of irrigation system farmers

Keïta A., Koïta M., Niang D., Lidon B.. 2019. Irrigation and Drainage, 68 (3) : p. 496-506.

DOI: 10.1002/ird.2319

Many development projects fail due to farmers' individual antagonistic strategies. Group surveys often fail to capture underlying individual motivations. An innovation from the African game Awale and the Japanese abacus named Soroban, WASO was used to assess opinions in the Baguinéda Irrigation Scheme (Mali) for rice cultivation and the sugar cane company of SUCAF-CI (Côte d'Ivoire). The WASO scores were introduced into the ANOVA/Tukey test or Kruskal¿Wallis/Mann¿Whitney test to check their convergence. Such processing provided very useful results in the two case studies. At the Baguinéda Irrigation Scheme, the farmers' foremost concern to improve drainage system maintenance is training for maintenance (score 17.6 ± 1.1 at a 95% confidence interval (CI)). At SUCAF-CI, sugar cane cutters would be much more available if they were paid on a monthly basis (score 15.7 ± 1.0 at 95% CI). It appeared that the WASO is an effective and versatile statistical interface helping to reveal and prioritize stakeholders' independent converging opinions, crucial to a development project's success.

Mots-clés : irrigation; méthode d'irrigation; approches participatives; enquête sur exploitations agricoles; projet de développement; drainage; mali; côte d'ivoire

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