Controlling the farmer: colonial and postcolonial irrigation interventions in Africa

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dc.contributor.author Ertsen, Maurits W
dc.date.accessioned 2011-01-14T07:55:23Z
dc.date.available 2011-01-14T07:55:23Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.citation ERTSEN, M.W. 2008. Controlling the farmer: colonial and postcolonial irrigation interventions in Africa. TD: The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa, 4(1):209-236, Jul. [http://dspace.nwu.ac.za/handle/10394/3605] en
dc.identifier.issn 1817-4434
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10394/3929
dc.description.abstract Aiming at full control over farmer actions was a shared characteristic of colonial irrigation engineering approaches. However, the way control was sought in African irrigation projects was different from Asian colonies. This paper traces the origins of colonial approaches to irrigation development in Africa and the continuities between colonial and post-colonial approaches. The Kano River Project in Nigeria, part of a larger irrigation development program from the late 1960s and early 1970s, serves as a typical example of a post-colonial irrigation system in which engineers drew upon colonial experiences. The Dutch engineers responsible for developing the system applied technologies from the Netherlands East Indies to regulate water flows in the system. At the same time, they engaged in a debate on how to organize farmers in the project to ensure efficient and rational use of water in irrigated farming. They joined project managers in viewing strong control over farmer production – a central feature of African colonial irrigation projects – as key to success. However, given the social conditions in the Kano area, particularly landownership, this strong control proved difficult to realize. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Irrigation en
dc.subject Africa en
dc.subject Kano River en
dc.subject Nigeria en
dc.subject Land tenure en
dc.subject Colonial irrigation en
dc.subject postcolonial irrigation en
dc.title Controlling the farmer: colonial and postcolonial irrigation interventions in Africa en
dc.type Article en

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