Irrigation in general and pressurized irrigation in particular are at an early stage of development in Eritrea. Currently, there are only about 28,000 ha under surface irrigation systems. There is no proper assessment of the extent of pressurized irrigation systems, but it has been estimated at less than 1000 ha. Smallholder irrigation technologies developed by International Development Enterprises (IDE) and consisting of bucket, drum, and micro-sprinkler kits were introduced in several villages in the highlands at the beginning of 2001 by the Center for Development and Environment (CDE). Joint research has been conducted by CDE and the Asmara College of Agriculture and Aquatic Science since March 2001 to assess the social, economic, and technical preconditions for successful implementation of the technology. As used here, the term “smallholder” refers to farmers who manage farms smaller than 1 ha entirely on their own, with little or no input from external government resources.
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