Decentralised, Off-Grid Solar Pump Irrigation Systems in Developing Countries - Are They Pro-Poor, Pro-Environment and Pro-Women?


Wong, Sam. 2019. "Decentralised, Off-Grid Solar Pump Irrigation Systems in Developing Countries - Are They Pro-Poor, Pro-Environment and Pro-Women?" In Climate Change-Resilient Agriculture and Agroforestry, edited by Paula Castro, Anabela Marisa Azul, Walter Leal Filho, and Ulisses M. Azeiteiro, 367-82. Cham: Springer, Cham.

Author: Sam Wong


This systematic, evidence-based literature review examines the effectiveness of localised solar-powered small-scale irrigation systems (PVPs) in poverty reduction, environmental conservation and gender empowerment in developing countries. It suggests that PVPs are able to enhance farmers’ adaptive capacity by raising agricultural productivity and their incomes. They also help mitigate climate change by reducing CO2 emissions. The distribution of the benefits and costs, brought by PVPs, is, however, so uncertain that requires further scrutiny. PVPs are successful in rising energy-water efficiency, but the environmental trade-offs with the underground water depletion and e-wastes requires solutions. Using PVPs to achieve gender equalities may only be materialised if the structural discrimination against women in land ownership and access to resources is challenged, along with the interventions of PVPs in rural communities. This book chapter recommends more in-depth and longitudinal studies to explore the complex and long-term implications of PVPs. More evidence is also needed to assess the effectiveness of governance reforms in access of PVPs in poor communities.

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2019

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