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Accueil du site → Master → Pays Bas → 2013 → Water management in the Nduruma catchment, Tanzania : an analysis of competition over water between smallholder irrigation communities and foreign horticultural companies

Wageningen University (2013)

Water management in the Nduruma catchment, Tanzania : an analysis of competition over water between smallholder irrigation communities and foreign horticultural companies

Bont, C. de

Titre : Water management in the Nduruma catchment, Tanzania : an analysis of competition over water between smallholder irrigation communities and foreign horticultural companies

Auteur : Bont, C. de

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2013

Résumé
This thesis analyses the case of foreign agribusinesses and smallholder farmers competing over water in the Nduruma sub-catchment near Arusha, Tanzania. It is a case which is situated in the middle of the debate on “water grabbing” and on the benefits of foreign investment in agriculture in developing countries. The thesis is based on three months of fieldwork in Tanzania, combining methods of observation and semi-structured interviews. Analysis relies on the echelons of rights analysis framework, aiming to describe contestations around resources, rules, authorities and discourses. The study shows how both smallholders and agribusinesses use their own, specific strategies to secure their access to water. In Nduruma, this has led to downstream smallholders securing more river water at the expense of the agribusinesses. At the same time, agribusinesses are increasingly using groundwater. This is the result of devolution of authority to a smallholder-originated river committee by state-led water organisations, leading to compulsory local negotiation over water allocation. Within this negotiation, smallholders are more successful in claiming river water by emphasising the rich and foreign character of the agribusinesses and their ability to access groundwater. Agribusinesses counteract with by claiming efficiency and contributions to development. This illustrates how arguments used by local actors reflect international and national discourses on land grabbing, foreign direct investment for development, irrigation modernisation and neoliberalism. This thesis argues that trends in water distribution are the result of interactions between the four different echelons, and that only focussing on these interactions can bring one closer to understanding them. Ultimately, it also shows that when studying a case of competition over water between local water users and foreign investors, it is important to look at how the rules play out in practice, what different strategies actors employ to secure water access and how this changes over time.

Mots clés : water management / water distribution / small farms / conflict / foreign investment / foreign firms / agribusiness / tanzania

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Page publiée le 5 février 2015, mise à jour le 12 octobre 2018