Analyse to optimise

Sustainable intensification of agricultural production through investment in integrated land and water management in Africa

Authored by: Michael Gilmont , Marta Antonelli

Handbook of Land and Water Grabs in Africa

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  September  2012

Print ISBN: 9781857436693
eBook ISBN: 9780203110942
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780203110942-28

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Abstract

This chapter identifies an alternative model of water resources development in agriculture aimed at achieving the intensification of agricultural production while avoiding the impairment of the natural resource base. This is a pathway of sustainable intensification of agricultural production, where improvements in total water productivity drive growth in agricultural outputs. The analysis is applied to Africa, where the current wave of inward investments offers the opportunity to forge a new sustainable pathway of water resources and agricultural development. 1 The suggested model aims to integrate new perspectives into the emerging debate over land and water acquisitions in developing countries, and to show the potential for current and future investments to drive the shift towards green growth economies. The UNEP (2011) has argued that by switching investment from ‘business-as-usual’ practices to more sustainable alternatives, the downside risks associated with climate change vulnerability, water resources scarcity and poor ecosystem services can be avoided.

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