Drivers of change in agricultural water productivity and its improvement at basin-scale in developing economics

Kumar, M.D.; Dam, J.C. van


We approach the issue of water productivity in agriculture by identifying five sets of drivers of change. We find that irrigation efficiencies at the field level can result in real water savings under certain conditions, but that small farmers in most of South Asia and Africa have little incentive to adopt the appropriate measures. Although water productivity improvement and water savings at the regional level are possible through a shift to economically efficient crops, such changes may be constrained by concerns with respect to domestic and regional food security, rural employment, and farming system resilience