Impacts of Small-Scale Water Management Interventions on Crop Yield, Water Use and Productivity in Two Agro-Ecologies of Malawi


A study was conducted in Malawi to compare the performance of improved agricultural water ma- nagement interventions with traditional water management practices to assess the impact of the interventions on crop yield and water use productivity. The study used questionnaires and focused group discussions to collect data from farmers and key informants. The results showed significant gains in crop yield, farmer income, and water use productivity using the regulated surface irrigation compared with unregulated surface irrigation. Treadle pump irrigation increased crop production by 5% - 54% compared with water can irrigation. Treadle pumps also increased gross and net incomes by >12% suggesting that farmers using the treadle pump were able to realize higher incomes across all crop enterprises compared with farmers using water cans. However, there is a dire need to improve the efficiency of the surface irrigation systems for rice production because the water applied was about 2 to 3 times the gross irrigation requirement (~10,780 m3·ha-1) which could result in environmental degradation through increased salinity and water logging.

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Kadyampakeni, D. , Kazombo-Phiri, S. , Mati, B. and Fandika, I. (2014) Impacts of Small-Scale Water Management Interventions on Crop Yield, Water Use and Productivity in Two Agro-Ecologies of Malawi. Agricultural Sciences, 5, 454-465. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.55046.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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