Putting Drip Irrigation in Perspective: Reality Check on the Promises of a Technology

Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement and Wageningen University & Research
Agence Francaise pour l'Eau, l'Irrigation et le Drainage ; CIRAD - French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development; International Development Enterprises; International Fund for Agricultural Development

This event contributes to a discussion on innovation in irrigation  initiated in the seminar: "Innovations for More Food with Less Water and less Energy".


While the latter seminar focused on service delivery in large irrigation systems of south Asia; we will focus on drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is widely promoted as an innovative technology to address current water, food, poverty, and environmental challenges as illustrated by the 2013 Stockholm Industry Award to irrigation material manufacturer Netafim.Yet, even if improved yields and lower water use are achieved in some instances, not all farmers are interested in or in a position to adopt the technology and many promises remain unfulfilled.


This event will provide a renewed assessment of the potential and performance of drip irrigation worldwide (in terms of water, food, poverty and environment) and give a platform to different men and women to share their experience in working with drip irrigation. Four transversal themes will be discussed:

  1. Smallholder drip irrigation systems and support mechanisms for their sustainable dissemination and use;
  2. approaches enhancing coherence between farmer-led technical change and irrigation system-level modernization;
  3. the multiplicity of systems for multiple farmers;
  4. drip irrigation standards and subsidies mechanisms.

16:00  Welcome and Opening Remarks
           Dr. Jean Philippe Venot, IRD and WUR
16:10  Smallholder Drip Irrigation in the Developing World
             Mr. Gauthier Ricordeau, Agronome and Vétérinaires sans Frontières
16:20  Converting to Drip: Lessons from Public Irrigation Systems in the Mediterranean Region
            Mr. Jean-Marc Faurès, FAO
16:30  Accounting for Farmers Needs and Innovativeness in Engineering Drip Irrigation Systems
           Ms. Maya Benouniche, CIRAD and IAV
16:40  Drip Irrigation Dissemination: Public and Private Sector Roles
           Dr. Yoav Zeif, Netafim


16:50 Questions & Answers


17:00   Panel Discussion

  • Mr Rudolph Cleveringa, GWP
  • Dr. Peter Mc Cornick, IWMI
  • Prof. Charlotte de Fraiture, UNESCO-IHE
  • Mr. Jean-Marc Faurès, FAO
  • Mr. Bob Nanes, iDE
  • Dr. Christopher Neale, University of Nebraska
  • Dr. Yoav Zeif, Netafim
  • Prof. Margreet Zwarteveen, UNESCO-IHE

17:30  Close of the Seminar


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