This webinar, organized by Agrilinks.org, explored the complex process of market-based scaling of agricultural technology. This event took place on June 10, 2020, and it delved deep into the difficulties of scaling agricultural innovations in fragmented markets.
Farmer-led irrigation means that we start with the farmers and their farming systems, where diverse conditions and resources form a first barrier to scaling,” stated Thai Thi Minh, Senior Researcher for Upscaling Innovations at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
“The Berken plow increases infiltration, boosting the groundwater level and water flowing in streams during the dry season. Increasing the availability of water is very important for smallholder irrigators.”
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), under the sponsorship of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI), has kick-started system-level collaboration, including with the private sector, through multi-stakeholder dialogues in Ethiopia and Ghana to create ‘win-win’ solutions in small scale irrigation.
“Looking at the Berken plow, we first thought it was a simple modification of the Maresha, with little or no impact. However, we found that the Berken affects several hydrological variables in positive ways.”
Today, Bryan is a senior scientist in the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), where she focuses on water resources management and climate change adaptation and gender.
In Mali, food production is and will continue to be severely limited as long as farmers do not have access to water for irrigation. So far, expansion of new irrigation technologies and practices is slow. One ILSSI researcher went to the field to investigate why.
Groundwater comes from the ground, right? Wrong. In the face of growing water scarcity, scientists, entrepreneurs, and farmers turn the problem on its head and increase groundwater reserves through improved water and soil management.
What will happen to the environment, to farmers’ income, and to families’ nutritional health if small scale irrigation is rolled out across river basins in West Africa and elsewhere on the continent?
Four recent publications from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) investigate how climate change is likely to affect water availability in the future. All four papers present results that suggest needs to put in place measures to adapt to and mitigate risks of plausible climate change.
Coming up on this year’s World Water Day, which is about water and climate change, we are taking a closer look at what it will take for even more farmers to get started with small scale irrigation.
ILSSI has become a global leader in generating evidence that can inform investments in support of the U.S. global food security goals.
Using conservation agriculture practices can increase food production while safeguarding water and soil on farms and across drier, hotter landscapes.
While increasing women’s access to agricultural technology is key to their economic empowerment, there is a real challenge in determining how to better include women in agricultural mechanization from the get-go.
“We found nitrate in the shallow groundwater samples. Having a high concentration of nitrate in groundwater poses a risk to human health, especially if the water is used for drinking.”
New research supported by USAID through the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) is shining the spotlight on a so far under-appreciated avenue for improving nutrition: irrigation.
Yihun Dile, Ph.D., Abeyou Worqlul, Ph.D., and Jean-Claude Bizimana, Ph.D. are recipients of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) 2019 Senior Research Team Award for Scientific Excellence.
The Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation hosted two Net-Map Workshops on 8 and 9 October, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshops brought together a cross-section of key stakeholders involved in the small scale irrigation sector The workshops help to map out influence in a network: what actors are involved in the diffusion of SSI technologies, how these actors are linked, and their level of influence on the network. The tool allows participants to explore how things are actually done, not how they should be according to policy.
ILSSI held training in Ghana from 5-10 August on the Integrated Decision Support System, a set of integrated models to enable improved environmental and economic analysis, monitoring and planning, particularly as related to agricultural water management and irrigation development. The training was hosted by the CSIR’s Water Research Institute in Accra, while ILSSI provided the trainers from Texas A & M University. Over 50 participants from universities, public institutions, and research institutions in Ghana participated, including some from USAID supported projects.
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.
Actions are needed urgently in Mali – the country is on the front-line of climate change, and expected to experience worsened food insecurity and even food shortages. The people of Mali rely heavily on rainfed agriculture, exposing them to pervasive climate-related shocks. Irrigated agriculture is one high potential pathway to increase resilience and improve food security.
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.
“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.”
The Abbay Basin Authority will be hosting an international training workshop on the Integrated Decision Support System (IDSS) from March 11-15, 2019 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The training is conducted under the Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) which is led by Texas A&M University.
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.
On January 31, 2018, ILSSI hosted an international symposium on irrigation in African smallholder farming systems.
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).
Much has been given to agriculture and, under growing water scarcity, variability, pollution, and continued lack of access to this vital resource by many—much will be demanded from agriculture to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 on Water and SDG2 on Ending Hunger are achieved—and without adversely affecting other water-related targets and goals. Meanwhile, efforts to meet the SDGs must also dovetail with the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Motivated by the fact that control over water is essential, but have limited knowledge about whether women’s water needs are being met..
Now, as part of the ILSSI program, WLE researchers are unpacking the complex relationships among water, nutrition, health and gender.
Although the ‘Pail Lifter’ was mainly designed to fetch water for irrigation; eventually women used it to fetch water for livestock and home use.
ILSSI seeks solutions for battling one of the world’s worst droughts in Ethiopia’s historic dry spell.
Scientists of Tanzania learn to use modeling systems to predict the effects of small-scale irrigation interventions.
This blog by the International Food Policy Institute stresses the necessity of adequate financing of irrigation tech for sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Drip irrigation technology and conservation agriculture show promise for farmers of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana.
How can reliable water access contribute to nutrition security in Africa south of the Sahara?
ILSSI partners consider a pilot test on ‘garden kits’ to fight hunger in smallholder communities.
ETHIOPIA – Four work locations across Ethiopia have been selected by ILSSI and could translate to big water savings for Ethiopia’s smallholder farmers and eventually for those of Ghana and Tanzania.
Training on assessing tech and policy consequences puts farmers one step closer to boosted income through research.