January 1, 1988
Much has been written in recent years on the problem of increasing desertification of arid lands for various reasons. One of the major alternatives available for increasing the productivity of arid lands – irrigation – has come under some criticism because of its adverse long-term impacts and poor performances. While some of the criticisms are justified, others are imaginary and baseless. A major reason for irrigation development raising great hopes in certain quarters but simultaneously a subject of despair in others is due to the paucity of regular monitoring and evaluation of irrigated agriculture projects. Without regular evaluations, it is not possible to make any definitive statements. Thus, whatever biases one holds tend to be perpetuated, or even accentuated.