Feed the Future Innovation Lab on Small-Scale Irrigation in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania

A consortium composed of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture of the Texas A&M University System (BI), The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T) collaborate with national and international agricultural research and development organizations in three selected Feed the Future (FtF) countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Ghana) to:

(1) identify promising small-scale irrigation technologies, practices and strategies that have the potential to improve agricultural productivity, reduce farmer risks, improve nutritional quality and diversity, reduce poverty, and empower women farmers;
(2) address the feasibility of these promising solutions;
(3) develop farm-level recommendations, technologies, and strategies for improving access to irrigation technologies and related knowledge throughout sub-Saharan Africa;
(4) train agricultural and development students, educators, and professionals to analyze the farm- and watershed-level biophysical, economic, nutritional and labor implications of these technologies and strategies.

IFPRI has two major roles in this project: First, IFPRI is tasked to assess gender and nutrition implications of small-scale irrigation technologies identified by partners IWMI, ILRI and NCA&T (North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University). IFPRI will also contribute to the determinants of adoption and analysis of constraints of adoption of small-scale irrigation. Second, IFPRI will asses the impacts of outscaling small-scale irrigation to the national levels in the three countries, working on this item together with Texas A&M, the lead on the grant. Key methodologies used by IFPRI for this project include: literature reviews on irrigation-gender-nutrition-health linkages; baseline and endline household surveys together with national partners; Focus Group Discussions; training on irrigation, gender and nutrition; SPAM (crop allocation modeling at 1 km2 as feasible); DREAM (economic) modeling to be linked to the existing Global Decision Support System by Texas A&M which is currently largely driven by biophysical factors; upscaling analysis, using a combination of SWAT and economic modeling to the national level to assess environmental impacts of large-scale expansion of small-scale irrigation.

This project is led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).