Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, September 6, 2021

WEBINAR: Operationalizing Farmer-led Irrigation Development at Scale

2 September 2021. Operationalizing Farmer-led Irrigation Development at Scale. How to design your intervention to build sustainable and climtae-resilient food production systems. By African Union-SAFGRAD, FAO, WB

The forum builds on the launch in 2020 of the African Union Commission’s Framework for Irrigation Development and Agricultural Water Management and the publication of the World Bank’s Farmer-led Irrigation Development Guide – A what, why and how to for intervention design. Both propose investment in FLID as a means to achieve climate resilience and support agricultural economic transformation. 

To harness the full potential of FLID, there is a need to overcome constraints in farmers’ access to equipment as well as financial and agricultural markets. The 2.5-hour live streamed virtual forum  addressed all these constraints as well as introduce practical tools to support the design of contextually relevant FLID interventions.

The target participants were regional- and national-level irrigation and agricultural water management planners and policy makers, donors, project implementers, experts, farmers’ organization representatives and other stakeholders.

Ahmed Elmekass
Coordinator SAFGRAD, African Union Commission
Ade Freeman
Regional Program Leader, FAO Regional Office for Africa
Ousmane Dione
Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, World Bank
Mark Smith
Director General, International Water Management Institute
Josefa Sacko
Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
Mure Agbonlahor
Senior Agricultural Production and Marketing Officer, African Union Commission

Resources:The first session aimed to: (a) Generate a common understanding of challenges and opportunities in scaling inclusive and sustainable FLI with public and private sector; (b) Discuss the potential for new concepts and solutions to overcome systemic barriers and accelerate FLI; (c) Discuss successful and innovative financial modalities and business models to enhance social inclusion and strengthen irrigation supply chains. Read the outcome of the webinar here.

In part II of webinar, the question was raised on how accelerating FLI development can be sustainable and inclusive. How do we ensure water security whilst supporting agricultural economic development? What are the incentives across actors within food systems to support sustainable use of water resources? How do we ensure that water access remains equitable to all water users? What is the role of institutions and regulations to safeguard and stimulate water stewardship? Read the outcome of the webinar here.

Building on a dedicated webinar series held in 2020 to stimulate debate on these issues, which gathered more than 850 participants, the session engaged implementers and the audience to identify key actions at different scales to take sustainable and inclusive farmer led irrigation development forward. Following a presentation of key insights emerging from the webinar series, a diverse group of implementers had a dialogue on how to implement or transform these insights into investments, and the audience will be invited to share their perspectives.

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