Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
09-10: Addressing Land Tenure in Irrigation Schemes in West Africa
Thursday, 23/Mar/2017:
8:30am - 10:00am

Session Chair: Caroline Plançon, world bank, United States of America
Location: MC 7-100


Building Resilience By Strengthening Women's Land Rights In The Senegal River Valley

Mamadou Baro, Abdoulaye Diagana

University of Arizona, United States of America

Empirical data shows that gender-related inequalities are pervasive in the Sahel. Although women account for most of the agricultural sector in the Sahel, they represent less than 10 percent of registered landholders and continue to face barriers in access to land, especially in rural areas where social exclusion and patriarchal traditions are very strong. Although the current land law recognizes the right of women to own land, in practice, women have not acquired the same rights and duties as men in Senegal River Valley land tenure system. Positive discrimination is required to counter the longstanding negative discrimination against women in accessing and owning land. This paper based on data collected in the field highlights the urgent need to significantly improve women’s control and ownership of land as a prerequisite for building resilience in the Senegal River Valley communities. It concludes by providing concrete and prioritized recommendations on how to promote and strengthen women’s land rights in the context of climate change, land grabbing and new policies on land governance.


Securing land rights in irrigated scheme in Mali. Cas study of Sélingué.

Adamczewski Amandine

CIRAD, France / University of Gaston Berger, Sénégal

Land tenure security is key to improving productivity and to promote rural development. In the Sahelian irrigation, a recurrent problem is the farmers ‘lack of tenure security. A new land tenure law is currently under discussion in Mali, which is an opportunity to address some of the current gaps in how land is allocated and registered – both for the State and for local communities. Approximately 2,200,000 hectares are deemed to be suitable for the development of irrigated agriculture in Mali, only 20% of this land is currently developed. Sélingué is the second most important national irrigated scheme. This paper , based on empirical investigations, is explores land tenure systems in Selingue and Maninkoura irrigation scheme, the nature of these systems (formal and informal), and analyses the roles of different actors. He is explores the gap between the official land tenure system, and the practice developed by irrigated farmers. Studying current arrangements between stakeholders, being spontaneous or institutionalized, allows picturing issues in terms of decision-making, management schemes and territories to consider.


Inclusive land and water governance: Experiences from Mauritania and Senegal

Steven Raoul Filip Jonckheere, Harold Liversage

IFAD, Italy

This paper will look at two experiences where inclusive land and water governance has been promoted in West Africa: one in Mauritania and another in Senegal. IFAD-supported projects in Mauritania have been facilitating the use of «Ententes foncières» or land distribution agreements between landowners and the landless, as pre-condition for water infrastructure. The approach is based on three principles: (i) justice; (ii) solidarity; (iii) efficiency and includes three steps: (i) land tenure assessment; (ii) negotiations; (iii) written agreement (endorsed by local authorities, prefect, land owners and village chief). In Senegal, the AFD-funded Rural Communities Support Programme has introduced land use plans These participatory plans have been used to decide where water infrastructure will be built and to decide access rights of farmers and pastoralists.


Ideologies, Development Models and Irrigated Land Tenure: The Bagré Irrigation Project in Burkina Faso

Jean-Philippe Venot1, William's Daré2, Etienne Kaboré3, Francoise Gérard2, Abdoulaye Tapsoba2, Donatien Idani4, Simone Carboni5

1IRD, URA, Wageningen University; 2CIRAD; 3Bagrépôle; 4Agence de l'Eau du Nakambé; 5INSUCO

This paper discusses the history of irrigation development and related land allocation in the Bagré area in the South of Burkina Faso. It specifically analyses current processes at play as part of the recent Bagré Growth Pole Project implemented by the government of Burkina Faso with support of the World Bank. The paper stresses the efforts made to put in place a fair and equitable compensation mechanism for the people being affected by the extension of the irrigated area downstream of the Bagré dam. The practicalities and thresholds considered in the compensation scheme are partly driven by the need to free some rainfed land to allow agro-entrepreneurs to settle in the area, financially contribute to the infrastructural costs of developing irrigation, and develop intensive and profitable irrigated production systems. This leads to socially constructing land scarcity, and threatens the future viability of smallholder farming. This happens even though the expressions of interests received to date by Bagrepole from agro-entrepreneurs appear little likely to trigger the virtuous development circle hoped for.