Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Water-Smart Agriculture in East Africa

Water-Smart Agriculture in East Africa.
Resource guide. March 2015, 356 pages
CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystem (WLE) hosted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), together with the CARE Global Water Initiative – East Africa,

Water-smart agriculture is an approach to farming that balances water availability, access and use across the range of water sources, according to principles of socioeconomic, environmental and technical sustainability. It seeks to maximise returns for farmers while protecting ecosystems and ensuring more equal outcomes within farming communities. Central to the concept is continuous learning through which farmer experience is increasingly part of action research approaches that feed back into decision-making at local and national level.

The resource book includes several case studies on building resilience, sustaining landscapes, managing water, conserving soils, and addressing learning and complexity, including policy issues. Although there is a lot of the language of “diffusion”, “outscaling”, “adoption” and “uptake” of “innovations”, there are also some cases that give explicit attention to farmers’ own innovation initiatives and to multi-stakeholder processes of joint innovation.

14 April 14, 2015. Gyeongu, Korea. The Sourcebook on Water-Smart Agriculture in East Africa will be officially launched at the 7th World Water Forum. (12-17/04/2015)

Related:
Smart phone for Water Smart Agriculture – Early experience
GWI EA, together with Wild Dog Limited, a film and multi-media production company in the UK, is examining how the use of smart phone technology can enhance the development and implementation of Water Smart Agriculture (WaSA) in areas of high rainfall variability and, hence, farmer vulnerability. 

The approach taken is user-centric, with smart phone technology focusing on information flows, problem solving and farmer-level support. This is focused on farmers throughout the crop production process, right from the decision on when and what to plant to when and how to get their produce to the market.

Video
In this short film, Ugandan Science Journalist William Odinga travels back to Otuke in Northern Uganda to find out what changes have occurred in the rural farming communities that struggle to subsist in variable climate when rainfall is unpredictable.

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