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Submitted by Eka on
The idea that large-scale systems may be the way to go is misguided. In some of the most successful rice growing East Asian economies including Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia, small-scale irrigation systems have dominated agricultural development because of the attendant dominance of small-scale production systems. In Nigeria, large-scale irrigation systems from the 1970s were a huge failure for a variety of reasons including low maintenance and the fact that most rice producers are small-scale and could not utilise this infrastructure. In my research I have reflected on FAO's report in 2005 of very low efficiency of large-scale irrigation in relation to the small-scale Fadama system. There is also the ongoing development of African high yielding rice varieties already. Notably there is the NERICA variety that was developed by the West African Rice Development Agency. It is best to acknowledge the efforts being made and support their progress. We must appreciate that Asian rice varieties will not necessarily do well for a variety of reasons.