Watermarks: Indicators of Irrigation Sector Performance in Africa

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1 BACKGROUND PAPER 4 (PHASE II) Watermarks: Indicators of Irrigation Sector Performance in Africa SUMMARY Mark Svendsen, Mandy Ewing, and Siwa Msangi International Food Policy Research Institute DECEMBER 2008

2 2009 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC USA Telephone: Internet: All rights reserved A publication of the World Bank. The World Bank 1818 H Sreet, NW Washington, DC USA The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank or the governments they represent. The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. The boundaries, colors, denominations, and other information shown on any map in this work do not imply any judgment on the part of The World Bank concerning the legal status of any territory or the endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries. Rights and permissions The material in this publication is copyrighted. Copying and/or transmitting portions or all of this work without permission may be a violation of applicable law. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank encourages dissemination of its work and will normally grant permission to reproduce portions of the work promptly. For permission to photocopy or reprint any part of this work, please send a request with complete information to the Copyright Clearance Center Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA USA; telephone: ; fax: ; Internet: All other queries on rights and licenses, including subsidiary rights, should be addressed to the Office of the Publisher, The World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC USA; fax: ;

3 About AICD This study is a product of the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD), a project designed to expand the world s knowledge of physical infrastructure in Africa. AICD will provide a baseline against which future improvements in infrastructure services can be measured, making it possible to monitor the results achieved from donor support. It should also provide a better empirical foundation for prioritizing investments and designing policy reforms in Africa s infrastructure sectors. AICD is based on an unprecedented effort to collect detailed economic and technical data on African infrastructure. The project has produced a series of reports (such as this one) on public expenditure, spending needs, and sector performance in each of the main infrastructure sectors energy, information and communication technologies, irrigation, transport, and water and sanitation. Africa s Infrastructure A Time for Transformation, published by the World Bank in November 2009, synthesizes the most significant findings of those reports. AICD was commissioned by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa after the 2005 G-8 summit at Gleneagles, which recognized the importance of scaling up donor finance for infrastructure in support of Africa s development. The first phase of AICD focused on 24 countries that together account for 85 percent of the gross domestic product, population, and infrastructure aid flows of Sub- Saharan Africa. The countries are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Under a second phase of the project, coverage is expanding to include as many other African countries as possible. Consistent with the genesis of the project, the main focus is on the 48 countries south of the Sahara that face the most severe infrastructure challenges. Some components of the study also cover North African countries so as to provide a broader point of reference. Unless otherwise stated,

4 therefore, the term Africa will be used throughout this report as a shorthand for Sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank is implementing AICD with the guidance of a steering committee that represents the African Union, the New Partnership for Africa s Development (NEPAD), Africa s regional economic communities, the African Development Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and major infrastructure donors. Financing for AICD is provided by a multidonor trust fund to which the main contributors are the U.K. s Department for International Development, the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, Agence Française de Développement, the European Commission, and Germany s KfW Entwicklungsbank. The Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program and the Water and Sanitation Program provided technical support on data collection and analysis pertaining to their respective sectors. A group of distinguished peer reviewers from policy-making and academic circles in Africa and beyond reviewed all of the major outputs of the study to ensure the technical quality of the work. The data underlying AICD s reports, as well as the reports themselves, are available to the public through an interactive Web site, that allows users to download customized data reports and perform various simulations. Inquiries concerning the availability of data sets should be directed to the editors at the World Bank in Washington, DC.

5 Summary The paradoxes and contrasts of Africa are fully apparent in the irrigation sector, where plentiful resources are only minimally exploited, leaving harvests vulnerable to the vicissitudes of climate and millions of people on the continent uncertain about their food supply. Failure to fully exploit the productivity-enhancing power of irrigation has also been a missed opportunity for economic growth. The continent s water resources, ample overall, are spread unevenly over a wide range of agroecological zones in which access to water varies starkly and suddenly. Efforts to manage water and to make it available where it is most needed are hampered by the undeveloped state of institutions for irrigation and water-resource management more generally and by the prevalence of subsistence farming. Ample groundwater resources in much of the continent remain largely untapped, except in southern Africa and parts of North Africa, where overexploitation of the resource is common. Irrigation is rare except in a handful of countries, even though demand for food is high and irrigation clearly has the power to raise agricultural productivity, as shown in successful schemes that use irrigation to produce high-value export products. Only a small share of agricultural land is equipped for irrigation, and the rate of expansion has been slowing in recent years. A relatively high share of irrigation-equipped land is fitted with high-tech systems that permit efficient pressurized irrigation. The disproportionate contribution to agricultural production of Africa s small irrigated area suggests that returns to additional investment in irrigation would be high, both in terms of greater food security for the continent and greater production of export-quality agricultural goods. The World Bank and other donors have called for significant investment in irrigation in the coming years in response to the call by the Commission for Africa to double irrigation funding between 2005 and Greater investment is needed to close the gap in agricultural productivity between Africa and other world regions and, thus, to improve food and nutritional security in Africa, reduce rural poverty, and widen opportunities for economic growth. Greater capital investment is also needed in fertilizers, advanced seed delivery systems, postharvest processing facilities, access to markets, and other facets of rural infrastructure. But irrigation emerges as a key area of investment because of its role in stabilizing yields in the face of increased climatic variability, reduced rainfall, higher temperatures, and the impact of other effects of climate change. Study objectives and context The objectives of this study were to survey the irrigation sector in the African countries included in the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD), as well as for the rest of Africa and to identify indicators that would make it possible to analyze the future performance of the irrigation sector on the continent. The countries examined include the entirety of the African continent, except for Western Sahara. The continent as a whole diverges starkly from the world norm in the use of water resources. For example, Africa withdraws less than half as much water per inhabitant as the world as a whole (241 m 3 /year compared with 599 m 3 /year), with a much higher share of withdrawals allocated to agricultural use. The

6 low rate of withdrawal reflects the scanty use of irrigation on the continent: African countries irrigate only about 6 percent of their collective cropland, compared with a world average of about 18 percent. Only a few African countries have developed more than a small share of their irrigation potential, that is, the area in which it would be beneficial and feasible to irrigate. By this measure, the standout countries are: South Africa (which has developed 100 percent of its irrigation potential by irrigating about a tenth of its cultivated land area); Cape Verde (89 percent); Somalia (83 percent); Madagascar (72 percent); Sudan (67 percent); and the North African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia). Only 18 out of the 53 African countries have developed at least a third of their potential area for irrigation (table A). Table A Achieving irrigation potential in Africa Country Irrigation-equipped area as % of cultivated area Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Rep. of Côte d Ivoire Djibouti Egypt Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia, The Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya ,175 Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger % of irrigation potential realized 2

7 Nigeria Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe Source: FAO 2007a. Note: = data not available. We studied the performance of the irrigation sector in five broad areas: The institutional framework surrounding irrigation; Water-resource utilization; Irrigation area and technology; Agricultural productivity; and Poverty and food security. The impact indicators and baseline values we developed were selected to provide comprehensive coverage of important aspects of the water-resource system and irrigation performance. The indicators are variables that are likely to change in response to expected increases in irrigation investment. Most of the indicators were drawn from the global databases of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); data were also drawn from data sets maintained by the World Bank and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), although the IFPRI data were used only where it was not possible to construct useful thematically related indicators from the global databases. Because it was deemed important to cover all countries in the study consistently, only the subset of indicators that could be obtained for comparison across all or nearly all African countries was used. The FAO s subregional classifications describe the various agroecological environments found on the continent (table B). In this summary we use these classifications to present data on irrigation potential and performance in Africa. 3

8 Table B Agroecological zones of Africa Zone Countries in region Characteristics Northern Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia Dry; annual avg. precipitation is 96 mm, varying from 750 mm in N.W. Morocco to nearly 0 mm in the south of Egypt; large-scale irrigation in Egypt. Sudano- Sahelian Eastern Gulf of Guinea Central Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda Benin, Côte d Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Southern Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe Indian Ocean Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles Islands Source: FAO Dry; low population density. Large-scale use of irrigation limited to Sudan. Some successful use of irrigation elsewhere for food and cash crops. 37% of arable area under production. Large arid zones unsuitable for crops. Other large areas of fragile agroecology. Irrigation has boosted cash crops in Ethiopia and Kenya. Great variation in climate, including precipitation. Varied scope for irrigation. Generally well-supplied with water, but imbalance in distribution of groundwater resources. Low population density; much rough terrain. Oceans temper climate in coastal areas. Wide variation in precipitation, water availability, and agroecological conditions: some tropical (Mozambique), some dryland (South Africa). Conditions vary from semiarid to tropical humid. Irrigation institutions: Dammed up Africa s framework of irrigation-related institutions is relatively undeveloped, despite their importance in managing and sharing water over areas of great agroecological and hydrological diversity. Such institutions are particularly necessary in Africa, where a large proportion of the population works in subsistence agriculture and lives at the whim of increasingly variable climates,. What is an ideal institutional framework for irrigation? Certain principles of good water-resource development and management are widely accepted; these principles include the development of agencies to ensure basin-level management and irrigation infrastructure development, the creation of national irrigation strategies and action plans, in addition to the development of community-based associations for local water management. Beyond these general values, however, the optimal institutional configuration in a particular country, and the correct pathway to reach it, are country and time specific. It is very difficult to define a set of regionwide indicators that can be used to measure progress in institutional change resulting from an irrigation-investment program. For example, it is hard to say with confidence how large irrigation management units should be, which system of water rights is best, how much regulation should be imposed on irrigation-service providers, how much decision-making authority should be lodged at a given level, or whether a river-basin-management organization with command and control authority is always necessary. The presence or absence of several specific features in a country s water institutional environment does suggest an interim set of indicators to measure improvements in the institutional framework. The indicators are these: Does a specialized agency exist to handle basin-level management? 4

9 Is there a dedicated irrigation-infrastructure-development entity? Do water user associations (WUAs) have adequate power and authority? Does the country have an irrigation strategy? Does the country have an irrigation action plan? A workshop in Ouagadougou organized by the World Bank Water and Food Group in March 2007 produced some useful information relating to institutional characteristics in a sample of countries. This information was expanded to all countries in Africa using the survey of institutional frameworks for irrigation development found in country profiles from the AquaSTAT survey of Africa (FAO 2005). According to these sources, some type of policy for water management is found in most countries (41); however, a national irrigation strategy is found in only 19 countries. Only about 30 percent of countries have a specialized agency for irrigation management; the lack of such an agency could lead to problems of coordination across sectors, especially between hydropower and irrigation users. As a measure of decentralization and institutional responsiveness to users, WUAs are empowered in less than half, or 24 of the 53 countries. Additional effort is needed to think through the question of whether it is possible to specify a set of reliable indicators that would measure progress in the evolution of national water-related institutional frameworks in Africa, and if so, what those indicators would be. Madagascar, Tanzania, and Nigeria each have four of the five institutional features described, perhaps indicating a higher level of institutional development than elsewhere. Most of the countries reviewed have one to three of the features; Cape Verde, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Rwanda have none. Water resources: Underused As already noted, the countries of Africa make less use of their relatively abundant water resources than do other regions of the world. The extent of that use for irrigation and other purposes can be considered (and measured) by total water withdrawals, agricultural water withdrawals, the capacity to store surface water, and the extent to which use is made of groundwater. Total water withdrawals across the region are very low, averaging just 3.8 percent of available supply and 1.5 percent of available supply in Sub-Saharan Africa (table C). Northern Africa, southern Africa (mainly South Africa with its large commercial irrigation sector, urban conglomerations, and welldeveloped industrial base) and the Sudano-Sahelian region (with Sudan and its vast Gezira scheme) lead other regions by a considerable margin in this regard. By contrast, total withdrawals in Asia constitute almost one-fifth of available water (19.4 percent). The world average (7.4 percent) is nearly double the level for African countries. The generally low values of this indicator suggest ample scope for additional withdrawals to support rural livelihoods, food security, and economic growth. The picture for agricultural withdrawals is similar to that for total withdrawals, with northern Africa, southern Africa, and the Sudano-Sahelian region] standing out dramatically from a low overall average of 3.3 percent for Africa and 1.3 percent for Sub-Saharan Africa. Low agricultural withdrawals in the humid Central African region are understandable given the wider scope in the region for rainfed agriculture. The Asian value of this indicator is twelve times that of Sub-Saharan Africa; similarly, the world value for agricultural withdrawals is fourfold that of Sub-Saharan Africa. 5

10 The average storage capacity in Africa is about 15 percent of the average annual discharge and about 11 percent for Sub-Saharan Africa. The much higher rates in northern Africa, Gulf of Guinea, and the southern African agroecological zones reflect large projects in Egypt, Côte d Ivoire, Ghana, Lesotho, South Africa, and Zambia. Although Africa s dam capacity as a share of available water resources exceeds that of Asia and the world as a whole, storage capacity is far from what it could be if small dams were developed to supply water for irrigation, as well as hydropower. Table C Indicators and baseline values of water-resource use in Africa and the world Percent Indicators Region Total water withdrawals as share of total renewable water resources Agricultural water withdrawals as share of total renewable water resources Dam capacity as share of total available surface water Groundwater pumped as a percentage of total renewable groundwater Africa Sub-Saharan Africa Northern Sudano-Sahelian Eastern Gulf of Guinea Central Southern Indian Ocean Islands Asia World Source: Columns 1 3, FAO 2007a; column 4, IGRAC Note: = data not available In Zambia, Lesotho, and elsewhere, dammed storage is used largely for hydropower generation, as shown by the relatively small fraction of water withdrawn for agriculture in these countries. The lack of storage in the Central African region, which has considerable hydropower potential, results from the relative abundance of water, relatively low population density, and densely forested and difficult terrain. Data on groundwater abstraction are sparse, with only a little over half of the countries reporting values. Except for North Africa, Mauritania, and South Africa, all the available values are very small, suggesting the potential for much greater development (see table 2.2 in main report). Shallow groundwater aquifers are good water sources for individual and small-community irrigation systems. Like surface water reservoirs, groundwater aquifers may also serve to buffer fluctuations in the supply of irrigation water. 6

11 Irrigation area: Scant coverage Compared with the rest of the world, a very small portion of Africa s territory is equipped for irrigation. Since 2000, the expansion of irrigation area has slowed to a crawl, though there are signs of growth after Table D Indicators and baseline values of irrigation area in Africa and the world Percent Region Irrigation-equipped area as share of cultivated area Area actually irrigated as share of irrigation-equipped area Indicators Water-managed area as share of cultivated area Average annual expansion of irrigated area Africa Sub-Saharan Africa Asia World Source: FAO 2007a, b. Note: = data not available Just 6 percent of the cultivated area in Africa is equipped for irrigation (only 4 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa), compared with 34 percent in Asia and 18 percent for the world as a whole (table D-). Only nine countries in Africa have ten percent or more of cultivated area equipped for irrigation. The share of the area equipped for irrigation that is actually irrigated ranges widely from less than half of the area in Benin, Malawi, Mozambique, and Sudan to more than 90 percent of the area in North Africa, Burkina Faso, Côte d Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, and Madagascar. Lower values reflect facilities that have deteriorated because of poor construction and are no longer usable, areas in which water supply is insufficient to irrigate the entire area, and areas in which deficient management keeps available water from reaching the entire area. The average utilization rate for Africa is 82 percent; while this figure is above the Asian average, it is below that of the world utilization rate. Irrigated area can be classified by irrigation scheme size as small, medium, and large. In general, large-scale schemes account for most of the irrigated area in most countries, with the exceptions of Madagascar and Senegal. The definitions of small and large differ widely across countries, so that precise comparisons are impossible. In addition to technical or classical areas equipped with irrigation, many African countries also contain cultivated areas with more basic facilities, or no permanent facilities at all, in which water is managed informally. These include areas of flood recession agriculture, spate irrigation, and cultivated wetlands. In spate irrigation, floodwaters originating from mountain catchments are diverted from riverbeds and spread over extensive areas. Because of their unreliable water supply and limited control, these areas are generally less productive than those equipped for classical irrigation. Locally, however, they may be very important, and offer opportunities for upgrading to improve productivity. 7

12 If the less formal ways of managing water are counted, the share of cultivated area in which water is managed rises from 5.8 percent (the irrigation-equipped area) to 6.7 percent for Africa. There are more dramatic increases in the share of cultivated area where water is managed in Chad, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. The average rate of expansion of irrigated area over the past 30 years was 2.3 percent in both Sub- Saharan Africa and all of Africa, though many countries showed more rapid expansion. Although comparator values are not available for the rest of the world, the overall rate in Africa would appear quite slow, given that Africa s use of irrigation falls far below that of Asia and the rest of the world, and far below the continent s irrigation potential. Moreover, the rate of expansion has slowed significantly since Between 2000 and 2003, the rate of expansion in irrigation was only about one-half of the longerterm rate (1.1 percent), strongly suggesting a slowing of irrigation development in recent years. Nearly three-fourths of African countries showed a zero rate of recent expansion. Only a handful of countries (Central African Republic, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, and Zambia) showed recent growth rates of greater than 3 percent per year.since 2005, growth in irrigation has picked up in several African countries. Irrigation technology: The pressure is on On-farm pressurized irrigation technologies sprinkler and microirrigation can reduce water use while increasing productivity and, for horticultural crops, improve product quality. Africa rates very well compared with other regions and the world in terms of use of on-farm pressured irrigation technologies. On average, 22 percent of equipped irrigation area in Sub-Saharan Africa and 18 percent in Africa as a whole are equipped with pressurized irrigation equipment, compared with just 2 percent in Asia and 12 percent in the world at large. The great bulk of this advanced equipment is found in Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Zimbabwe, with other notable advanced equipment located in South Africa, Kenya, and Zambia. Pressurized irrigation shows great potential for expansion of irrigation-equipped area. Other important indicators for irrigation technology include the share of localized, sprinkler, and surface irrigation in the total irrigation-equipped area, as well as irrigation-equipped and actually irrigated area as a share of total water-managed area. The incidence of use of surface irrigation is much lower in Africa (covering 54 percent of the area equipped for full- or partial-control irrigation) than in Asia (79 percent) and the world as a whole (70 percent). But pressurized sprinkler systems are much more likely to be found in Africa than in Asia, and somewhat more likely to be found in Africa than in the world as a whole. 8

13 Agricultural productivity: Untapped potential Africa makes far less use of irrigation than do other areas of the world, yet most of its agroecological zones have unreliable rainfall. It is clear that Africa s agricultural productivity, and thus its food security and the welfare of its people, stands to benefit from more extensive use of irrigation. How much benefit can be expected from greater use of irrigation? Two measures of the impact of irrigation on productivity are the value of crops derived from irrigated agriculture (as a share of total agricultural output) and the per hectare value of irrigated agricultural output compared with the value of an average hectare of rainfed output. In Africa, irrigated agriculture accounts for nearly 38 percent of the value of all agricultural output (table E). Compared to the world as a whole, the productivity of irrigation in Africa is on par with global averages. Moreover, when one considers that this share is produced on just 6.7 percent of the cultivated land (see table D), one begins to understand the potential of irrigation to improve livelihoods in Africa. Table E Agricultural productivity in agroecologic zones of Africa Region Value of irrigated output as share of total agricultural output (%) Indicators Ratio of value of irrigated output to rainfed output Northern Sudano-Sahelian Eastern Gulf of Guinea Central Southern Indian Ocean Islands Sub-Saharan Africa Africa average Source: FAO 2003; Price data are international prices for 2000, IMPACT-WATER (Rosegrant et al. 2008). Note: = data not available. The picture is complicated, however, by a lower-than-expected ratio of the value of irrigated output as a multiple of the value of rainfed output unit productivity. Despite the strong performance of irrigation in the northern and Sudano-Sahelian regions, the average value of rainfed output unit productivity for the continent is 0.61, compared to between 1.5 and 3.0 in other areas of the world. This lower-than-expected value is at odds with the strong impact of irrigation shown by the previous indicator. We need to examine the data underlying these indicators more carefully to reach a firm conclusion about the current state of irrigation productivity in Africa. Poverty and food security: Water control is the answer Given that more than half of the economically active population of Africa is engaged in agriculture, compared with just over one-fifth of the population of the world as a whole (table F), and that irrigation has already shown its power to increase agricultural productivity, investments in irrigation clearly have the potential to generate quick benefits for a continent where poverty is high and the food supply is unreliable. The share of Sub-Saharan Africa s population with incomes falling below the national poverty line is significantly greater than in major regions of Asia and the world at large. Calorie availability per capita in Africa is well below the values for calorie availability in Asia and the world, providing ample room for improvement. 9

14 Conclusion: The last drop The study developed indicators in five categories institutional framework, water-resource use, irrigation area and technology, agricultural productivity, and poverty and food security. In all cases, indicators were selected that would reasonably respond in some way to increased irrigation sector investment, enabling the impacts of the investment program to be monitored and assessed. Institutional framework. Additional effort is needed to arrive at a set of indicators capable of measuring the progress of water-related institutions. Even after consensus is achieved about which indicators might be most useful, the absence of crosscountry information on the institutional context for irrigation (and water-resource management in general) will complicate the effort to measure progress. It would be useful to develop a comprehensive set of indicators covering policies, laws, documents, and other information that would enable us to assess change in this area in response to increased investment. Table F Indicators and baseline values of poverty and food security in Africa and the world Percent, except as otherwise noted Region Sub-Saharan Africa Indicators Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty line (%) Economically active population in agriculture (%) Agricultural value added (% GDP) ,192 Africa ,364 East Asia and Pacific ,665 South Asia ,392 Asia average 28 World ,713 Source: PovCal database (PovCalNet 2008); FAO 2008; and World Bank Calorie availability (kcal/capita/day) Water-resource use. Total water withdrawals and agricultural withdrawals in Africa, which are about half of those in the world as a whole, have ample room to rise as investments in irrigation are ramped up. Storage capacity. Surface-water storage capacity as a share of available surface resources in Africa is well above the global average, but storage is very unevenly distributed, and much of it is used solely for hydropower generation. Average groundwater utilization in Africa is over 70 percent; however, in Sub- Saharan Africa, the utilization rate is less than 20 percent of renewable supplies. Groundwater is a resource particularly well suited for small-scale irrigation and for multiple-use systems. Both dammed storage and groundwater could be more extensively used to increase agricultural productivity. Irrigation area and technology. The share of cultivated area equipped for irrigation in Africa is about a third of the world average and just one-sixth of the value for Asia. The low coverage of irrigation technology, and the slow rate of growth in coverage, clearly represents a lost opportunity for feeding the population. On the positive side, a remarkably high share of irrigated land in Africa uses efficient pressurized water application, suggesting a promising direction for future investment. Agricultural productivity. African countries produce 38 percent of their crops (by value) from approximately 7 percent of the cultivated land on which water is managed, which again suggests that additional investment in irrigation would pay large benefits. 10

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