Alternative irrigation: the promise of runoff agriculture by Christopher J Barrow PDF

By Christopher J Barrow

ISBN-10: 1853834963

ISBN-13: 9781853834967

An creation to runoff agriculture - a sort of agricultural irrigation - this article describes how using floor and subsurface water, usually missed and wasted, permits either small farmers and advertisement agriculturists to enhance yields and the safety of harvest, even in harsh and distant environments. The textual content introduces the ideas and methods, in addition to the demanding situations and the opportunity of the an important process, that can give a contribution a lot to lowering land degradation and enhancing conservation and sustainability.

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Extra info for Alternative irrigation: the promise of runoff agriculture

Example text

Much of the world's available freshwater runs away or evaporates before it can be used by agriculture or before it recharges groundwater; a large proportion of the waste could be prevented by SWC and runoff agriculture. Investment in these strategies has been comparatively neglected; yet such strategies should: • cost less than large scale irrigation schemes; • help reduce urban migration by improving or sustaining rural livelihoods; • counter soil degradation; • cut dependency because it can use local materials and reduces the need for food import; • help recharge groundwater, reduce flood damage caused by uncontrolled runoff, improve regularity and quantity of streamflow; • help those seeking to conserve flora and fauna.

The success of irrigation is thus hardly surprising and begs the question: what would similar investment yield if directed at runoff or rain-fed agriculture and smallfarmers? The reality is that the runoff and rain-fed agriculture sectors are neglected and, unless attitudes change, efforts to upgrade (to intensify) agriculture will be based on expensive mainstream irrigation which is often poorly adapted to local environments and the needs of many rural people (notably the production of locally available food and the generation of employment) and is seldom sustainable (Tully, 1990).

Roughly 84 per cent of the world's agricultural land is rain-fed and either needs improvement or has potential for improvement. It is important to find alternatives to mainstream irrigation development (mainstream implies large scale and high tech), not only because many localities are unsuitable for it and because of growing competition for available freshwater supplies, but also to reduce pollution and other impacts often associated with established irrigation approaches. These impacts should not be underestimated; there are too many examples of large numbers of people who have suffered socio-economic and health problems, of land degraded and biodiversity destroyed.

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Alternative irrigation: the promise of runoff agriculture by Christopher J Barrow

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