USAID Administrator Mark Green visited the Texas A&M Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture on October 16, 2017 to learn more about the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI). Administrator Green also attended the Global Pandemic Summit conducted by the Scowcroft International Institute at Texas A&M.
ILSSI—one of 24 Feed the Future Innovation Labs—developing and evaluating methods of small scale irrigation for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana. A briefing on ILSSI was presented to Administrator Green by the ILSSI director, Dr. Neville Clarke, who noted that the laboratory conducts studies to evaluate new small scale irrigation innovations in farmer’s fields, household surveys to evaluate the nutritional, gender and economic consequences of these innovations, and uses an integrated modeling system to analyze results and to estimate impact at from farm to national levels of scale. Farmers and extension workers are trained in the use of small scale irrigation innovations, and students in academic institutions participate in field research and are trained in the use of these modeling methods. ILSSI engages stakeholders at local, regional and national levels for planning, evaluating and adoption of its products. Users of the ILSSI products include government analysts and decision makers, private sector investors and practitioners (farmers and related local communities).
Administrator Green commended the contributions being made by U.S. universities to international food and agriculture development through the 24 Feed the Future Innovation Labs supported by USAID. He recognized the importance of irrigation to smallholder farmers, especially during the dry season when families can have year-round access to fresh products for consumption at the household level and sell the surplus to generate new income.
USAID Administrator Mark Green received the Texas A&M Lifetime Achievement Award during the 3rd Annual Global Pandemic Summit conducted by the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs, a part of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. He provided a keynote address at the Summit.