Water, Sewage & Effluent May June 2019 - Page 17

• better yields from irrigated crops grown. Water Sewage & Effluent May/June 2019 15 • a reduction in the seasonal variability in productivity; and Ethiopia’s growth has been propelled by at least two factors: the prioritisation of agriculture as a key contributor to development and the fast-paced adoption of new technologies to boost the sector. www.waterafrica.co.za These include: • more efficient use of fertilisers; The report identifies a number of common factors in countries where significant progress has been made to expand irrigation, including key policy and institutional innovations. In the case of Ethiopia, one of the main reasons for its success is that agriculture and irrigation have been featured on the Ethiopian policy agenda since 1991. In addition, specialised institutions have been set up with clear commitment to maximising the benefits of water control and irrigation systems. In addition, the government has invested in the sector and plans to continue doing so. It aims to allocate USD15-billion to irrigation development by 2020 and the investment is expected to deliver a number of returns. Reasons for success innovations Montpellier Panel. The panel convenes experts in agriculture, ecology, nutrition and food security to guide policy choices by African governments. The aim is to help the continent accelerate progress towards food security and improved nutrition. The panel’s latest report analyses progress – and highlights best practice – of irrigation in six countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Niger and South Africa. Other African countries can draw lessons from the report’s insights. T here are no signs that Ethiopia’s ambitions for further economic growth are fading, indeed it is a force to be reckoned with. This is clear from the government’s blueprint to achieve middle-income status– or gross national income of at least USD1006 per capita–by 2025. This will see a rapid increase in per capita income in Ethiopia, which is currently at USD783, according to the World Bank. Ethiopia’s growth has been propelled by at least two factors: the prioritisation of agriculture as a key contributor to development and the fast-paced adoption of new technologies to boost the sector. A third of Ethiopia’s GDP is generated through agriculture with more than 12 million households relying on small- scale farming for their livelihoods. One of the drivers of growth in the agricultural sector is the expansion of irrigation; the country has seen the fastest growth in irrigation of any African country. Its area under irrigation increased by almost 52% between 2002 and 2014. This was achieved by investing in the sector and by harnessing technology to expand irrigation to farmers who traditionally relied on rainfall to water their crops. This boosted productivity and income for farmers by helping them extend the growing season and become more consistent in their production. Meanwhile, only 6% of arable land is currently irrigated across the whole of Africa. This means that there’s huge potential to expand irrigation and unlock economic growth. These factors are highlighted by a new report from the Malabo