Cropping in the drylands: opportunities & threats
Two studies commissioned by FAO and REGLAP on cropping in the drylands were presented in February 2013 on the ILRI campus in Nairobi to get feedback on the key findings and to develop an action plan to promote improved practice in dryland cropping in the future. The report “Outcomes of crop agriculture in drylands workshop” brings a summary of the discussions and framework for action.
Some conclusions of the FAO study by Ocra Consultants on threats and opportunities of irrigation development in the Kenyan drylands were:
- Irrigation potential is limited due to scarcity and poor quality of water
- As most schemes are perennially dependent on outside assistance, their sustainability is doubtful
- Irrigation projects have contributed to food security and household incomes
- Irrigation schemes affect availability of dry-season grazing and livestock movements and lead to conflicts between crop and livestock producers.
The REGLAP study on the appropriateness of crop agriculture for promoting resilience in the drylands identified a need for:
- Resourcing relevant research and sharing experience
- Promoting adaptation and innovation
- Making the most of private micro-investments
- Providing credit, services and business models
- Creating an enabling institutional/policy framework (with flexibility and incentives)
- Supporting appropriate community institutions, regulations and management, including resource-access negotiations.
- Opportunities and threats to irrigation development in Kenyan drylands, by Phares Ragwe, Ocra Consultants, for FAO
- Appropriateness of crop agriculture for resilience promotion in the drylands of the Horn of Africa, by Mike Mortimore, for REGLAP (see also the full report The place of crop agriculture in the drylands of the Horn of Africa)