Investments in irrigation for global food security
This project paper (PDF) by IFPRI describes what it will take to achieve a level of irrigation investment that supports sustainable agriculture for improved food security and nutrition. Climate change and all the resulting uncertainties are sparking new interest in raising investments in irrigation to enable more stable food production. In order for these investments to pay off, they need to be targeted and ideally should be accompanied by the following: 1) Support for smallholder irrigation systems whenever feasible; 2) Improvements in water-use efficiency; 3) Economic incentives to conserve water resources; 4) Linkages with other sectors; 5) Linkages between irrigation and nutrition. Irrigation can and should be an integral part of sustainable agricultural production. For this to happen, investment in irrigation infrastructure, policies, and institutions must be strengthened in those regions most threatened by food insecurity and climate change, and where irrigation development is most environmentally sustainable. The authors conclude that irrigation has an important role to play in enhancing future food security and the time for targeted investments is now.