Irrigation in developing countries tends to be stereotyped as equity reducing, in competition with other uses for scarce water resources, often negatively impacting disadvantaged groups. This study aims to clarify the linkages between irrigation and poverty by offering an objective review of recent research on the subject. The key questions addressed herein are: (1) what is the role of irrigation development and management in poverty alleviation? (2) what are the linkages and pathways through which irrigation contributes to poverty alleviation? (3) what is the magnitude of anti-poverty impacts of irrigation? And (4) what are the critical determinants of anti-poverty impacts of irrigation? Our review focuses on topical empirical research studies in West Java Province, Indonesia. Agricultural intensification through the practice of irrigation as a strategy for poverty reduction is examined. There are four inter‐related mechanisms through which irrigated agriculture can reduce poverty. These are improvements in the levels and security of productivity, employment, and incomes for irrigating farm households and farm labor; the linkage and multiplier effects of agricultural intensification for the broader economy; provision of opportunities for diversification of rural livelihoods; and multiple uses of irrigation supply. There are also significant risks that poorly designed and managed irrigation can negatively impact on poverty. It is concluded that two factors of production (irrigation and literacy rate) have a larger role in the overall rural development and
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