Farmlands, or agricultural landscapes, captures the interest of a number of researchers based at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University. On this blog we share information about research findings, activities, events and comments related to our work.
Our interest in farmlands has three roots: farming, landscape and society.
Farming as a practice, including farmers knowledge and labour investments
Landscape as society-nature relations, congealed history, and as space and place
Society as a short form for institutions, gender relations, political economy and scientific relevance
Most Welcome to FarmLandS!
Sunday, July 5, 2015
First publication on contemporary smallholder irrigation farming in Engaruka, Tanzania is now available!
This article examines the common-pool regime of Engaruka, a smallholder irrigation farming community in northern Tanzania. Irrigation is a complex issue due to water asymmetry. Water use is regulated in Engaruka through boundary, allocation, input and penalty rules by a users’ association that controls and negotiates water allocation to avoid conflicts among headenders and tailenders. As different crops – maize and beans, bananas and vegetables – are cultivated, different watering schemes are applied depending on the water requirements of every single crop. Farmers benefit from different irrigation schedules and from different soil characteristics through having their plots both downstream and upstream. In fact, depending on water supply, cultivation is resourcefully extended and retracted. Engaruka is an ethnically homogeneous and interdependent community where headenders and tailenders are often the same people and are hence inhibited to carry out unilateral action. Drawing on common-pool resource literature, this study argues that in a context of population pressure alongside limited and fluctuating water availability, non-equilibrium behavior, consisting in negotiating water rights and modifying irrigation area continuously through demand management, is crucial for the satisfaction of basic and productive needs and for the avoidance of water conflicts.
This link gives access for free to the fulltext until August 24th.