This review aims to compile the past, present and future trends of participatory small-scale irrigation schemes (PSSIS) and small-scale rainwater harvesting technology (SSRWHT) development to ensure household food security in Ethiopia. It discusses the Ethiopian PSSIS and SSRWHT development based on the historical backgrounds, current conditions of development and its contributions to the national economy, challenges and opportunities, and future development perspectives. PSSIS and SSRWHT development has been suggested to be a central key part in curbing food scarcity and alleviating poverty not only in water scarce regions of the Ethiopia but also in many other developing countries. Government, donors and NGOs are investing in developing irrigation systems, especially on PSSIS and SSRWHT. Still irrigated land is 5 to 10% of 5.3 million hectares of irrigated potential area of country. This review indicates that, the existing current performance of PSSIS and SSRWHT development in Ethiopia is not significantly contributing to national economy of the country, when compared to rain-fed agriculture. Accordingly, irrigation sub-sector is not contributing its share based on the resources potential of the country. There is no consistent and reliable inventory data, lacks agreed reports in common consensus and well-studied and documented with regards to water and irrigations related potentials and implementations of PSSIS and SSRWHT development in the country.
Key words: Eco-efficient schemes practices, irrigation users' cooperative, smallholder farmers.
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