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CAB eBooks

Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Water productivity in agriculture: limits and opportunities for improvement.

Book cover for Water productivity in agriculture: limits and opportunities for improvement.


This book presents a state of the art review of the limits and opportunities for improving water productivity in crop production, focusing on both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture. It provides concepts, methodologies, constraints and examples drawn from a wealth of experience from developing and developed countries. It demonstrates how efficiency of water use can be enhanced to maximize yields. ...


Chapter 11 (Page no: 179)

Improving water productivity in the dry areas of West Asia and North Africa.

In the dry areas, water, not land, is the limiting factor in improving agricultural production. Maximizing water productivity, and not yield per unit of land, is therefore a better strategy for on-farm water management under such conditions. This chapter highlights the major research findings at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas regarding improving the water productivity of its mandate crops of wheat, barley, lentils, chickpea and faba bean. It is shown that substantial and sustainable improvements in water productivity can only be achieved through integrated farm-resources management. On-farm water-productive techniques, if coupled with improved irrigation-management options, better crop selection and appropriate cultural practices, improved genetic make-up and timely socio-economic interventions, will help to achieve this objective. Conventional water-management guidelines, designed to maximize yield per unit area, need to be revised for achieving maximum water productivity instead. A case study from Syria shows the applicability of this option. It illustrates that, when water is scarce, higher farm incomes may be obtained by maximizing water productivity than by maximizing land productivity.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) A water-productivity framework for understanding and action. Author(s): Molden, D. Murray-Rust, H. Sakthivadivel, R. Makin, I.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 19) Economics of water productivity in managing water for agriculture. Author(s): Barker, R. Dawe, D. Inocencio, A.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 37) The concept of efficiency in water-resources management and policy. Author(s): Seckler, D. Molden, D. Sakthivadivel, R.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 53) Rice production in water-scarce environments. Author(s): Tuong, T. P. Bouman, B. A. M.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 69) Managing saline and alkaline water for higher productivity. Author(s): Tyagi, N. K.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 89) Water productivity under saline conditions. Author(s): Kijne, J. W.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 103) Opportunities for increasing water productivity of CGIAR crops through plant breeding and molecular biology. Author(s): Bennett, J.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 127) Management of drought in ICRISAT cereal and legume mandate crops. Author(s): Serraj, R. Bidinger, F. R. Chauhan, Y. S. Seetharama, N. Nigam, S. N. Saxena, N. P.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 145) Water productivity in rain-fed agriculture: challenges and opportunities for smallholder farmers in drought-prone tropical agroecosystems. Author(s): Rockström, J. Barron, J. Fox, P.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 163) World water productivity: current situation and future options. Author(s): Cai, X. M. Rosegrant, M. W.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 199) Efficient management of rainwater for increased crop productivity and groundwater recharge in Asia. Author(s): Wani, S. P. Pathak, P. Sreedevi, T. K. Singh, H. P. Singh, P.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 217) Water productivity in forestry and agroforestry. Author(s): Ong, C. K. Swallow, B. M.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 229) Water productivity and potato cultivation. Author(s): Bowen, W. T.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 239) Rice-wheat cropping systems in the Indo-Gangetic plains: issues of water productivity in relation to new resource-conserving technologies. Author(s): Hobbs, P. R. Gupta, R. K.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 255) Land and water productivity of wheat in the Western Indo-Gangetic plains of India and Pakistan: a comparative analysis. Author(s): Intizar Hussain Sakthivadivel, R. Upali Amarasinghe
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 273) Reform of the Thai irrigation sector: is there scope for increasing water productivity? Author(s): Molle, F.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 289) Upscaling water productivity in irrigated agriculture using remote-sensing and GIS technologies. Author(s): Bastiaanssen, W. Mobin-ud-Din Ahmad Zubair Tahir
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 301) Improving water productivity through deficit irrigation: examples from Syria, the North China Plain and Oregon, USA. Author(s): Zhang HePing

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Natural Resources Management Program, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, PO Box 5466, Aleppo, Syria.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2003
  • ISBN
  • 9780851996691
  • Record Number
  • 20033158269