ILSSI has provided evidence on the high potential of small scale irrigation to contribute to meeting food demands, addressing nutritional security, and increasing incomes.
The challenge now is to expand the use of irrigation by smallholders that are equitable, and economically and environmentally sustainable.
ILSSI's research through 2023 focuses on generating evidence for effective scaling and inclusive access to small scale irrigation. With an emphasis on the role of small scale irrigation in the context of improving social and ecological resilience.
On July 15th, 2019 Dr. Seifu Tilahun the Scientific Director and Associate Professor of Hydrology at the Bahir Dar Institute of Technology in Ethiopia, presented to over 30 faculty and staff within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. His lecture, Irrigation and agriculture development in Africa: Impact on water quality and ecosystem health in the Ethiopian highlands, focused on a study being done in collaboration with The Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation.
Mali is on the front-line of climate change, with pervasive food insecurity and other risks. The people of Mali rely heavily on rainfed agriculture, exposing them to climate-related shocks. Irrigated agriculture is one high potential pathway to increase resilience and improve access to food. ILSSI supported research identifies areas in Mali with high potential for scaling solar water pumps for developing irrigation. Up to 69% of Mali’s agricultural lands - 4.44 million hectares (Mha) - are suitable for solar irrigation development. Read more on the Suitability for farmer-led solar irrigation development in Mali.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) is working with Ethiopian farmers to explore options for irrigating fodder that supports enhanced livestock production.
Deputy Administrator Glick visited Texas A&M University, where she met with Ambassador Eric Bost, Deputy Director of the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and Development, and representatives from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation and International Wheat Yield Partnership.
Dr. Nicole Lefore has been named director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation. Also known as ILSSI, the lab is managed by the Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University in College Station, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. It partners with the International Water Management Institute, International Food, and Policy Research Institute and International Livestock Research Institute. ILSSI is one of 24 laboratories sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development and funded as cooperative agreements for research.
“If you don’t work in the irrigated vegetable garden, you will sell the food crops you harvested during the rainy season - and you will be in hunger.” This is according to a farmer in Mongnoori, northern Ghana, shared during a seminar convened by ILSSI with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Public, private and development sector participants discussed future research for small scale, farmer-led irrigation, as well the potential to empower women. ILSSI director Dr. Lefore presented on new research areas, and IFPRI’s Elizabeth Bryan shared research results from a multi-project effort on small scale irrigation and women’s empowerment in Ghana. Check out the presentations to learn more about past and new research.
Texas A&M Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture receives additional $12.5 million for research on small scale irrigation
The Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, has received an additional $12.5 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development for the Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory for Small-Scale Irrigation.