This paper calls attention to the importance of social cooperation in irrigation farming. It argues that a mere focus on the technical aspect of irrigation, disregarding its social aspects undermines the long-term benefits of irrigation to rural livelihoods.
This assertion draws on lessons from small-irrigation practices in Fogera, in the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia, where the research conducted fieldwork-based qualitative research. In recent years irrigation farming has drawn a growing interest among farmers in rural Fogera. Farmers practise small-scale irrigation that includes traditional irrigation and motor pump irrigation. Farmers assert that irrigation has brought farming benefits through cultivation of more crops as well as new crops that serve food and cash purposes. Such benefits have particularly spurred the enthusiasm for motor pump irrigation.
However, the practice of motor pump irrigation largely relies on the motor-pump technology, overlooking the social scheme of irrigation.