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Supporting market-led importation of small-scale irrigation equipment in West and Central Africa

Supporting market-led importation of small-scale irrigation equipment in West and Central Africa

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Published by HIPPO Perspectives
Abstract: The scope and methods used to promote the importation of irrigation equipment from India and China to West and Central Africa are discussed. The emphasis is on diesel-powered pumpsets for low-lift irrigation of the type practiced along Sahelian rivers or certain artificial lakes. Subjects include: (1) the import service market for irrigation pumps in West Africa; (2) characteristics of Asian equipment; (3) export prices, cost prices and selling prices; (4) supporting market-led importation initiatives; and (5) marketing principles. A framework for promoting the importation of irrigation equipment is outlined.
Abstract: The scope and methods used to promote the importation of irrigation equipment from India and China to West and Central Africa are discussed. The emphasis is on diesel-powered pumpsets for low-lift irrigation of the type practiced along Sahelian rivers or certain artificial lakes. Subjects include: (1) the import service market for irrigation pumps in West Africa; (2) characteristics of Asian equipment; (3) export prices, cost prices and selling prices; (4) supporting market-led importation initiatives; and (5) marketing principles. A framework for promoting the importation of irrigation equipment is outlined.

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Published by: HIPPO Perspectives on May 30, 2011
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Secretary of the HIPPO Foundation, De Verwondering 27, 3823HA Amersfoort, The Netherlands, Tel./Fax. +31.33.4553623,e-mail HIPPOMP@net.hcc.nl, www.hipponet.nl
Annex I
Supporting market-led importation of small-scale irrigationequipment in West and Central AfricaSjon van’t Hof 
1
, Netherlands
Contents
Introduction 2Small-scale irrigation: definition and statistics 3The import service market for small-scale irrigation equipment in West Africa 4Supporting market-led importation of small-scale irrigation equipment 6Ten guiding principles for the marketing of affordable irrigation devices 7Conclusion and recommendations 10References 12Internet resources 14
List of Tables and Boxes
Table I–1 Area under small-scale and traditional irrigation in 3West and Central Africa (ARID mandate area) in 1985Box I–1 A simple decision tree for supporting equipment\import 7service projects (after Drew, 2000)Box I–2 Framework for import promotion 9
 
 Appropriate water-lifting technologies in West Africa – Annex I 
I-2
 Abstract:
The scope and methods used to promote the importation of irrigation equipmentfrom India and China to West and Central Africa are discussed. The emphasis is on diesel- powered pumpsets for low-lift irrigation of the type practiced along Sahelian rivers or certainartificial lakes. Subjects include: (1) the import service market for irrigation pumps in WestAfrica; (2) characteristics of Asian equipment; (3) export prices, cost prices and selling prices;(4) supporting market-led importation initiatives; and (5) marketing principles. A framework for promoting the importation of irrigation equipment is outlined.
 Résumé:
Les perspectives et les méthodes pour promouvoir l’importation de matérield’irrigation de l’Inde et de la Chine en Afrique Centrale et Occidentale sont examinées.L’accent est mis sur les motopompes à gas-oil pour le pompage à faible pression du type pratiqué le long des fleuves Sahéliens ou certains lacs artificiels. Les sujets incluent: (1) lemarché des services d’importation pour les pompes d’irrigation; (2) les caractéristiques dematériel asiatique; (3) les prix à l’exportation, prix d’achat et prix de vente; (4) le soutiendes initiatives d’importation commerciales; et (5) les principes de commercialisation. Desrecommandations pour favoriser l’importation de matériel d’irrigation sont fournies.
INTRODUCTION
Small-scale irrigation development in West Africa is partly the result of a spontaneous process and partly the result of development efforts by governments, NGOs and internationalorganizations. The most successful small-scale irrigation farms are those that developed fromfarmers’ initiatives (De Lange, 1997). The rate of small-scale irrigation expansion is slow andirregular, considering the need, potential and effort. Much that had been developed was notsustainable, socially or economically. This represents a tremendous waste of personal effortand financial resources. The reasons for non-sustainability are many, varied and complex. AnyWest-African irrigation farmer will confirm that one reason is the high investment and runningcost of irrigation equipment, especially pumpsets.Considering that the cost of irrigation equipment is lower in Asia than anywhere else, thereis scope for stimulating the importation of this equipment to countries, where it is unavailableor if available the cost of its use is higher than necessary. There are two Asian countries withextremely large numbers of small-scale, locally managed irrigation systems: China withover six million systems and India with an estimated 400 000 systems (Mabry, 1993). Bomand Van Steenbergen (1997) estimate the number of diesel pumpsets in India at 6.5 million.Both countries have a buoyant domestic industry producing irrigation equipment at highlycompetitive prices. Other countries with competitive domestic industries are Brazil, Indonesia,Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. However, a technology that has been proven in onecountry may still be viewed as ‘too risky’ in another. Thus, the technology transfer processmay require additional resources for management.In this presentation, the aim is to discuss the scope and methods of promoting the importationof irrigation equipment from India and China. The emphasis is on diesel-powered pumpsets for low-lift irrigation (FAO, 1996) of the type practiced along Sahelian rivers, such as the riversSenegal, Niger, Logone and Chari in Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon andChad or along the shores of artificial lakes, such as the Sourou Valley project in Burkina Faso(Jeune Afrique, 1998).
 
 Appropriate water-lifting technologies in West Africa – Annex I 
I-3
SMALL-SCALE IRRIGATION: DEFINITION AND STATISTICS
There is no widely accepted definition of small-scale irrigation in terms of area irrigated or otherwise. Uphoff (1986, in Mabry, 1993) found that irrigation systems with command areasof 40 ha or less tend to be managed by the entire group of irrigators, while systems between40 and 400 ha are usually administered by a central official, either elected by the irrigators or appointed by the state. In exceptional cases, the number of people that can be supported bysystems managed by local assemblies or councils can be as high as 5 000. Provisionally, amulti-criteria definition of small-scale lift irrigation will be used: (1) the command area must be less than 40 ha; (2) the average area per irrigator is less than 10 ha; and (3) management is by the entire group of irrigators.The term micro-irrigation has been used by some (Norman, 1993) for individuals or smallgroups using 3–5 hp gasoline pumps to irrigate less than 1 ha of vegetables. Other termsinclude: traditional irrigation, village irrigation, community-based irrigation, local irrigation,smallholder irrigation and indigenous irrigation. In many cases, traditional irrigation includesflood irrigation, recession agriculture and a variety of mixed or partial control systems, suchas spate irrigation.Without an accepted definition of small-scale irrigation, there can be no reliable statisticson small-scale irrigation. Estimates of irrigated areas under small-scale or traditional irrigationin the mandate area of the Regional Association on Irrigation and Drainage in West and CentralAfrica (French acronym: ARID) are presented In Table I–1 (Rukuni 1997). The total areaunder small-scale or traditional irrigation in the ARID mandate area is 1.2 million ha, of whichtwo-thirds are in Nigeria.
Table I–1 Area under small-scale and traditional irrigation in West and Central Africa(ARID mandate area) in 1985
CountrySmall-scale or traditionairrigation in hectares
Benin
10 000
Burkina Faso
20 000
Cameroon
9 000
Cape Verde
NA
Central African Republic 
4 000
Chad 
40 000
Congo
5 000
Equatorial Guinea
NA
Gabon
1 000
Gambia
20 000
Ghana
5 000
Guinea
30 000
Guinea Bissau 
NA
Cote d’Ivoire
10 000
Liberia
16 000
Mali 
60 000
Mauritania
20 000
Niger 
20 000
Nigeria
800 000
Sao Tome
NA
Senegal 
70 000
Sierra Leone
50 000
Togo
10 000NA Not applicable

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