Irrigated farming is central to meeting
the world's food and fodder needs and will be even more
important in delivering on food security and water
sustainability development priorities in the future. High
population growth, climate change, increasing socio-economic
growth, and water stress are key drivers of change. Although
irrigation covers only 6.5 percent of the total land used
for agriculture, it supports production of forty percent of
the world's food and fodder output, with a gross value
of fifty-five percent of global agricultural produce.
Improving irrigation performance is a priority strategy in
addressing rural poverty and in mitigating climate -change
impacts, especially for the most vulnerable. Investment in
irrigation has seen renewed interest in the past decade, and
irrigation and drainage (I and D) governance emerging as a
key focus for improved performance. Institutional failures
and poor irrigation performance have been blamed on low
capacity, perverse incentives, misdirected policies, and
weak implementation but these are only contributing factors.
Investments in institutions of the past have aimed to fix
the institutions, with a focus on form and on organizational
structure. The central message of this resource book is that
functions, processes, and related capabilities must be the
priority focus of all irrigation institutional interventions.