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Irrigation, collective action and property rights

  • Vermillion, D. L.

Approximately 40 percent of the world’s food and 60 percent of its grain is produced under irrigation. Between 1900 and 1950 the total area under irrigation worldwide nearly doubled, rising from about 48 million to 94 million hectares, and by 2000 it had more than doubled again, reaching 240 million hectares.This dramatic expansion in irrigated area has produced an enormous and expensive infrastructure. Governments already straining under fiscal deficits often find themselves unable to meet the costs of adequately operating, maintaining, rehabilitating, and upgrading these systems without enlisting user participation.

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    International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 2020 Collective action and property rights for sustainable development: Focus 11, Brief 6 of 16, February 2004: http://www.ifpri.org/2020/focus/focus11/focus11_06.pdf