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Technical vs social water management for family farming in the Brazilian Sertão Volume 13, issue 4, Décembre 2002

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Authors
Cirad Tera, Programme agricultures familiales et mondialisation, TA 60/15, 73, rue Jean-François-Breton, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.
  • Page(s) : 274-83
  • Published in: 2003

In the Brazilian Nordeste, the lack of water and the unequal distribution of the land had maintained peasant families in a situation of dependence. The socio-economic impact of droughts had led to successive state interventions assimilating irrigation to the modernisation of agriculture. Concentrating large projects (big dams and large irrigation areas) has led to a centralized water management system without solving the dependence problem. This paper analyses some contradictions between public water management policies and smallholder's practices or strategies. The adoption and adaptation problems arising out of such diverse proposals show how technical change is tightly related to social and institutional transformations.