Assessing the growth potential of farmer-led irrigation development in sub-Saharan Africa

Project Details


International commitment to funding African Irrigation is rising as a response to increased food prices and continuing low productivity of agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa.

This research project, funded by ESRC – DFID, brings together a team of social science researchers and irrigation scientists from the UK, Europe and Africa. The project seeks to understand if current investment by farmers in small-scale irrigation can offer a model for broad-based economic growth in rural areas of Africa.

A clear systematic analysis of existing initiatives will inform policies to generate growth in agricultural productivity, give a greater understanding of social and economic consequences, of changing land and water rights, and the choices of technical and financial support required
Short titleR:HDD HDZ/ESRC/Woodhouse250413
Effective start/end date1/01/1530/06/18

Collaborative partners

  • The University of Manchester (lead)
  • Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology NMAIST (Joint applicant)
  • Instituto Superior Politecnico de Manica ISPM (Joint applicant)
  • Wageningen University (Joint applicant)
  • The University of Sheffield (Sub-contractor)


  • irrigation
  • farmers
  • agriculture
  • water management

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Global Development Institute


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