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Water management for rainfed smallholder farming

Code: 9781786769565
Christoph Studer, Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), Switzerland

Chapter synopsis: This chapter aims to show how small-scale farmers can use water more efficiently, productively and sustainably in rainfed production. We will first discuss general aspects of how water use in crop and livestock production may be improved – measures that are important and useful in both rainfed as well as in irrigated agricultural production. Then we will focus specifically on rainfed agriculture and describe numerous practical options to help smallholder farmers use precipitation water more efficiently and productively. We will discuss ways of upgrading rainfed agricultural production and important broader issues regarding water and agriculture that have to be considered to assure that we will have enough water to feed the world in future.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0080.09
Table of contents 1 Introduction: water use in agriculture 2 The challenge of producing more agricultural goods with less water 3 Factors determining water use in agricultural production 4 Smallholders can change the crop microclimate climate to reduce evapotranspiration and improve water use efficiency and productivity 5 Crop choice affects water use and water productivity 6 Good agricultural practices can greatly improve water use efficiency and water productivity 7 Enhancing infiltration is key for good yields and water productivity in rainfed agriculture 8 Water harvesting at different scales allows for enhanced production and resilience 9 In-field water harvesting and small-scale water storage can be interesting for smallholders 10 Developing rainfed agriculture requires new approaches to introducing innovations 11 Water management beyond rainfed agriculture – caring for our water resources 12 Conclusion 13 Where to look for further information 14 References

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