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When water is from God: formation of property rights governing communal irrigation furrows in Meru, Tanzania, c. 1890-2011

Hillbom, Ellen LU (2012) In Journal of Eastern African Studies 6(3). p.423-443
Abstract
In Meru, Tanzania local initiatives were instrumental in establishing a gravity irrigation system in the 1890s. The original property rights institutions governing furrows were characterised by de facto communal ownership and management combined with private temporary user rights. Over the last 12 decades farming systems in Meru have experienced changing land/labour ratios, overall technological and institutional change as well as increased demand for irrigation water. The furrow system has been extended and due to general agricultural intensification access to water has become an important pre-condition for production in the current local system of agricultural production. However, it is argued that in the midst of drastic overall change... (More)
In Meru, Tanzania local initiatives were instrumental in establishing a gravity irrigation system in the 1890s. The original property rights institutions governing furrows were characterised by de facto communal ownership and management combined with private temporary user rights. Over the last 12 decades farming systems in Meru have experienced changing land/labour ratios, overall technological and institutional change as well as increased demand for irrigation water. The furrow system has been extended and due to general agricultural intensification access to water has become an important pre-condition for production in the current local system of agricultural production. However, it is argued that in the midst of drastic overall change in the area, irrigation furrows have experienced no significant change in either technology or property rights institutions. It is found that institutional continuity is explained by the natural characteristics of water, property rights embeddedness in socio-economic structures, and challenges of managing it as a common-pool resource. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
property rights, irrigation furrows, agricultural intensification, Tanzania
in
Journal of Eastern African Studies
volume
6
issue
3
pages
423 - 443
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000308031900003
  • scopus:84865351792
ISSN
1753-1055
DOI
10.1080/17531055.2012.696891
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
07840439-040d-4cd9-875b-6120c0b374e2 (old id 3146724)
date added to LUP
2012-11-26 09:58:03
date last changed
2017-09-24 03:13:28
@article{07840439-040d-4cd9-875b-6120c0b374e2,
  abstract     = {In Meru, Tanzania local initiatives were instrumental in establishing a gravity irrigation system in the 1890s. The original property rights institutions governing furrows were characterised by de facto communal ownership and management combined with private temporary user rights. Over the last 12 decades farming systems in Meru have experienced changing land/labour ratios, overall technological and institutional change as well as increased demand for irrigation water. The furrow system has been extended and due to general agricultural intensification access to water has become an important pre-condition for production in the current local system of agricultural production. However, it is argued that in the midst of drastic overall change in the area, irrigation furrows have experienced no significant change in either technology or property rights institutions. It is found that institutional continuity is explained by the natural characteristics of water, property rights embeddedness in socio-economic structures, and challenges of managing it as a common-pool resource.},
  author       = {Hillbom, Ellen},
  issn         = {1753-1055},
  keyword      = {property rights,irrigation furrows,agricultural intensification,Tanzania},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {423--443},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Journal of Eastern African Studies},
  title        = {When water is from God: formation of property rights governing communal irrigation furrows in Meru, Tanzania, c. 1890-2011},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2012.696891},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2012},
}