Agricultural irrigated land (% of total agricultural land) - Country Ranking

Definition: Agricultural irrigated land refers to agricultural areas purposely provided with water, including land irrigated by controlled flooding.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, electronic files and web site.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Bangladesh 52.62 2006
2 Pakistan 51.84 2011
3 Korea 51.63 2007
4 Bahrain 43.48 2001
5 India 36.33 2012
6 Malta 36.17 2013
7 Japan 35.20 2013
8 Israel 32.59 2010
9 Nepal 29.74 2010
10 Azerbaijan 29.65 2013
11 Myanmar 24.76 2007
12 Cyprus 22.48 2013
13 Mauritius 22.09 2013
14 Lebanon 20.23 2007
15 Italy 19.08 2013
16 Iran 17.36 2013
17 Albania 17.29 2013
18 Greece 16.90 2012
19 Indonesia 15.21 2005
20 Tajikistan 14.78 2009
21 Lao PDR 13.64 2005
22 Turkey 13.57 2013
23 St. Kitts and Nevis 13.33 2012
24 Portugal 13.17 2013
25 Spain 13.01 2012
26 Ecuador 12.58 2013
27 United Arab Emirates 12.45 2013
28 Denmark 12.15 2010
29 Puerto Rico 10.67 2012
30 Netherlands 10.55 2007
31 China 10.49 2011
32 Jordan 9.79 2013
33 Kyrgyz Republic 9.44 2012
34 Syrian Arab Republic 9.41 2013
35 Philippines 9.27 2011
36 Trinidad and Tobago 9.26 2012
37 Moldova 9.25 2010
38 Armenia 9.17 2013
39 Dominican Republic 8.69 2011
40 Timor-Leste 7.99 2002
41 Guyana 7.46 2003
42 Macedonia 7.40 2007
43 Chile 6.95 2007
44 Jamaica 6.91 2010
45 Bhutan 6.75 2007
46 Guatemala 6.16 2003
47 United States 5.53 2012
48 Afghanistan 5.52 2013
49 Mexico 5.43 2013
50 Ukraine 5.25 2013
51 France 5.09 2007
52 Oman 5.02 2009
53 Seychelles 5.00 2003
54 Cabo Verde 4.64 2004
55 Morocco 4.61 2011
56 New Zealand 4.43 2007
57 Haiti 4.35 2013
58 Georgia 4.02 2008
59 Tunisia 3.94 2013
60 Swaziland 3.66 2002
61 Yemen 3.27 2006
62 Venezuela 3.17 2007
63 Algeria 2.63 2013
64 Honduras 2.59 2005
65 Switzerland 2.36 2010
66 Germany 2.21 2009
67 Madagascar 2.15 2009
68 Hungary 2.12 2013
69 Sweden 2.04 2010
70 Grenada 2.00 2008
71 Norway 1.98 2012
72 Croatia 1.97 2013
73 Russia 1.97 2008
74 Bulgaria 1.78 2010
75 South Africa 1.66 2011
76 Austria 1.65 2013
77 Brazil 1.64 2007
78 Costa Rica 1.54 2010
79 Argentina 1.46 2011
80 Colombia 1.45 2013
81 Uruguay 1.41 2012
82 Sudan 1.36 2011
83 Romania 1.30 2013
84 El Salvador 1.30 2013
85 Canada 1.22 2010
86 Serbia 1.05 2013
87 Slovak Republic 0.95 2013
88 Brunei 0.88 2007
89 Bolivia 0.80 2011
90 United Kingdom 0.78 2007
91 Senegal 0.74 2006
92 Guinea 0.69 2003
93 Australia 0.60 2013
94 Kazakhstan 0.58 2010
95 Malawi 0.53 2008
96 Ethiopia 0.45 2011
97 Rwanda 0.45 2005
98 Czech Republic 0.43 2013
99 Belgium 0.43 2013
100 Finland 0.42 2013
101 Slovenia 0.42 2013
102 Belarus 0.34 2013
103 Poland 0.32 2010
104 Nigeria 0.30 2004
105 Benin 0.27 2008
106 Niger 0.21 2011
107 Ghana 0.19 2010
108 Mozambique 0.08 2001
109 Uganda 0.07 2013
110 Latvia 0.07 2010
111 Mauritania 0.06 2004
112 Lesotho 0.05 2013
113 Lithuania 0.04 2007
114 Kenya 0.04 2009
115 Estonia 0.03 2013
116 Botswana 0.00 2013

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Development Relevance: Worldwide, irrigated agriculture accounts for about four-fifths of global water withdrawals. The share of irrigated land ranges widely, from 4 percent of the total area cropped in Africa to 42 percent in South Asia. The leading countries are India and China with about 30 percent and 52 percent of all cropland irrigated, respectively. Without irrigation and drainage, much of the increases in agricultural output that has fed the world's growing population and stabilized food production would not have been possible. In the dry sub-humid countries, irrigation is critical for crop production. Due to highly variable rainfall, long dry seasons, and recurrent droughts, dry spells and floods, water management is a key determinant for agricultural production in these regions and is increasingly becoming more important with climate change. World Bank estimates that rainfed agriculture is most significant in Sub-Saharan Africa where it accounts for about 96 percent of the cropland. Irrigation and drainage continue to be an important source of productivity growth, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Latin America that still have large untapped water resources for agriculture. In other regions where the scope for further expanding irrigated agriculture is limited, more efforts are needed to enhance the policy, technical, and governance aspects of agricultural water use. Agricultural land covers more than one-third of the world's land area. In many industrialized countries, agricultural land is subject to zoning regulations. In the context of zoning, agricultural land (or more properly agriculturally zoned land) refers to plots that may be used for agricultural activities, regardless of the physical type or quality of land. Data on agricultural land are valuable for conducting studies on a various perspectives concerning agricultural production, food security and for deriving cropping intensity among others uses. Agricultural land indicator, along with land-use indicators, can also elucidate the environmental sustainability of countries' agricultural practices. Agriculture is still a major sector in many economies, and agricultural activities provide developing countries with food and revenue. But agricultural activities also can degrade natural resources. Poor farming practices can cause soil erosion and loss of soil fertility. Efforts to increase productivity by using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and intensive irrigation have environmental costs and health impacts. Salinization of irrigated land diminishes soil fertility. Thus, inappropriate use of inputs for agricultural production has far-reaching effects. There is no single correct mix of inputs to the agricultural land, as it is dependent on local climate, land quality, and economic development; appropriate levels and application rates vary by country and over time and depend on the type of crops, the climate and soils, and the production process used.

Limitations and Exceptions: The data are collected by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) from official national sources through annual questionnaires and are supplemented with information from official secondary data sources. The secondary sources cover official country data from websites of national ministries, national publications and related country data reported by various international organizations.. The FAO tries to impose standard definitions and reporting methods, but complete consistency across countries and over time is not possible. Thus, data on agricultural land in different climates may not be comparable. For example, permanent pastures are quite different in nature and intensity in African countries and dry Middle Eastern countries.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Irrigated agricultural area refers to area equipped to provide water (via artificial means of irrigation such as by diverting streams, flooding, or spraying) to the crops. In non-irrigated agricultural areas, production of crops is dependent on rain-fed irrigation. Agricultural land constitutes only a part of any country's total area, which can include areas not suitable for agriculture, such as forests, mountains, and inland water bodies. Agricultural land can also be classified as irrigated and non-irrigated land. In arid and semi-arid countries agriculture is often confined to irrigated land, with very little farming possible in non-irrigated areas.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual