Water for Food International Forum

29 January 2018 to 30 January 2018
Washington, D.C., USA
Climate change

Increasing Irrigation Water Productivity Through On-Farm Monitoring, Adaptive Management And Agricultural Innovation Platforms

Most government-run irrigation schemes in Africa have failed or are significantly under-performing, for a complex array of reasons. However, the research project (ACIAR FSC/2013/006), Increasing irrigation water productivity in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe through on-farm monitoring, adaptive management and agricultural innovation platforms (AIPs), found that AIPs combined with soil moisture and nutrient measuring can substantially increase crop yields and incomes of farmers, and make irrigation schemes more self-sustaining. These improved yields, profits and problem-solving were achieved before infrastructure investments were made in Tanzania and Zimbabwe, thereby strengthening the likely benefit and sustainability of future infrastructure investments.


This was the message that  FANRPAN Programme Manager, Ms Sithembile Mwamakamba delivered at the first ever Water for Food International Forum convened by the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska and the World Bank, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development, under the theme: “Farmer-led irrigated agriculture: Seeds of opportunity,” from 29 -  30 January at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., USA. The forum focused on improving  water and food security and livelihoods for smallholder farmers in developing countries by intensifying sustainable irrigated agriculture. Presenters and participants explored the investments needed to develop and support an enabling environment for enhanced agricultural production.

Speaking during the “Session: Bringing it all together” session,  Ms Mwamakamba explained how the project has enabled smallholder farmers and related stakeholders to achieve success in a traditionally difficult sector, which is also currently a top priority for African governments and international donors.

The results of research project (ACIAR FSC/2013/006) are available in a special issue of the International Journal of Water Resources Development (see below a list of related links)which explores the challenges associated with increasing the productivity and profitability of small-scale communal irrigation systems in a world with growing demand for food and scarce water supplies. Case studies from Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in south-eastern Africa are used to detail the challenges, opportunities and possible solutions.

·         Exploring the productivity and profitability of small-scale communal irrigation systems in Sub-Saharan Africa

·         Irrigation and crop diversification in the 25 de Setembro irrigation scheme, Mozambique

·         Barriers to and opportunities for improving productivity and profitability of the Kiwere and Magozi irrigation schemes in Tanzania

·         Irrigation development in Zimbabwe: understanding productivity barriers and opportunities at Mkoba and Silalatshani irrigation schemes

·         An overview of extension use in irrigated agriculture and case studies in south-eastern Africa

·         Income inequality within smallholder irrigation schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa

·         A soil water and solute learning system for small-scale irrigators in Africa

·         Theory and application of Agricultural Innovation Platforms for improved irrigation scheme management in Southern Africa

·         Irrigating Africa: policy barriers and opportunities for enhanced productivity of smallholder farmers

·         Communal irrigation systems in South-Eastern Africa: findings on productivity and profitability

Post-event resources


Videos of the sessions will be available on our YouTube channel by Feb. 9.


View photos from the event on Flickr.


·         Igniting action for farmer-led irrigation at Water for Food International Forum

·         Innovate to irrigate: 19 innovations to increase food production without draining the earth

News mentions

World Bank Welcomes Water for Food Forum (Jan. 29, 2018) | AgWired

Remarks and interviews (audio)

·         Kristalina Georgieva, CEO, World Bank

·         Peter G. McCornick, Executive Director, DWFI

·         Mike Johanns, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and DWFI Board Director

·         Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)

and more!

Working paper

"Pathways to Increasing Farmer-led Investments in Sustainable Agricultural Water Management in sub-Saharan Africa" | DWFI, January 2018

PowerPoint Presentations

Slides from the forum will be available on Slide Share soon.

Outputs of the Forum will contribute to the high level panel on water for food at the 2018 World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil.

For updates on FANRPAN’s irrigation work follow @FANRPAN hashtag #FANRPAN_water #TISA