Structural and nonstructural measures to mitigate risks and uncertainties

ttere are also opportunities for farmers in Africa to mitigate risks and uncertainties using structural measures such irrigation and water harvesting and non-structural measures such as seasonal climate forecasts as well as medium-range weather forecasts for strategic and tactical management of agriculture. Research indicates that the agrohydrological challenge in semi-arid and dry subhumid tropics is not necessarily related to inadequate cumulative rainfall - at present basically only 1/8 - 1/3 of the rain is used in crop production on average. Instead the challenge is to manage the unreliable distribution of rainfall over time, and minimize non-productive water flow in the water balance (SIWI 2001). tte degree of acceptance of irrigation scheduling technology through extension depends directly on the literacy levels of the farming community. Unfortunately, most of the traditional irrigation systems are located in areas where educational standards are low. It is essential that reliable information is developed and disseminated in a simplified manner understandable to the trainers and end-users (Hasan et al. 1993). Government agencies, along with universities and the private sector, must provide the required training.

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