Subsidies for technological improvements

As mentioned earlier, a further instrument to improve groundwater management in agriculture consists of subsidies to improve irrigation efficiency by farmers' investments in better technology. This may imply support to make investments in closed conveyance pipes instead of earth canals that are subject to evaporation, shifting from flood irrigation to drip irrigation and investments in soil levelling, mulching, etc. There are a number of examples worldwide showing that these approaches work from the technological point of view, as in China, Mexico and Yemen. However, such measures will only be effective if farmers do not at the same time expand their fields or increase their cropping cycles. The incentive to do so and to improve one's individual livelihood is significant; therefore, understanding of the reasons for these subsidies and enforcement plays an important role.

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