Landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa faces increasing pressure from both anthropogenic activities and climate change. The agrifood system struggles to utilize the landscapeapos;s potential. Misconceptions in landscape management practices, such as neglecting socio-ecological and participatory concepts, hinder sustainable development. Socio-ecological landscape management, which integrates social and ecological systems and promotes collaboration among stakeholders, innovation, resilience to risks, resource sustainability, and community satisfaction, is gaining acceptance. This technical note is to describe adaptive, inclusive landscape management plans that are sensitive to both ecological and health metrics and could be incorporated into governmental frameworks. The design process is iterative with 6 steps, incorporating the perspectives of local stakeholders, governance bodies, researchers, and local experts. The pathway culminates in a comprehensive Inclusive Landscape Management Plan (ILMP) that is both actionable and reflective of community needs.
Decision support systems / Climate change / Innovation / Stakeholders / Ecological factors / Social inclusion / Participatory approaches / Frameworks / Agrifood systems / Plans / Sustainable land management / Landscape resilience
Waste management has become a pivotal public health and environmental question, particularly in developing nations, due to rapid industrialization, population growth, and inadequate policy. To foster a long-term pattern of progress, global trends are encouraging governments, policymakers, and international organizations to explore pathways for transitioning from linear to circular economy business models. Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR) offers viable pathways with multiple value propositions beyond environmental benefits. However, the decision-making processes involved in the shaping and selection of business models often require weighing costs and benefits and making trade-offs among alternatives and competing priorities. Some costs and benefits are clearly identifiable and can be numerically expressed, yet many others cannot be readily determined. This technical report presents the conceptual framework underlying a multi-criteria-based decision support tool tailored to enable decisionmakers and practitioners to select appropriate and sustainable CE business models in the RRR context with positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes.
Public health / Frameworks / Socioeconomic aspects / Environmental impact / Financing / Market segmentation / Cost benefit analysis / Decision making / Reuse / Resource recovery / Waste management / Decision support systems / Business models / Circular economy
Priority research topics to improve streamflow data availability in data-scarce countries: the case for Ethiopia
Lack of consistent streamflow data has been an increasing challenge reported by many studies in developing countries. This study aims to understand the current challenges in streamflow monitoring in Ethiopia to prioritize research topics that can support sustained streamflow monitoring in the country and elsewhere. A workshop-based expert consultation, followed by a systematic literature review, was conducted to build a collective understanding of the challenges and opportunities of streamflow monitoring in Ethiopia. The experts’ consultation identified the top ten research priorities to improve streamflow monitoring through research, education, remote sensing applications, and institutions. The experts’ views were supported by a systematic review of more than 300 published articles. The review indicated scientific investigation in Ethiopian basins was constrained by streamflow data gaps to provide recent and relevant hydrological insights. However, there is inadequate research that seeks solutions, while some researchers use experimental methods to generate recent streamflow data, which is an expensive approach. Articles that attempted to fill data gaps make up less than 20% of the reviewed articles. This study identified research priorities that can benefit streamflow data providers and the research community in alleviating many of the challenges associated with streamflow monitoring in countries such as Ethiopia.
Education / Citizen science / Capacity development / Data collection / Runoff / Institutions / Stakeholders / Remote sensing / Hydrology / Developing countries / Research / Data management / Monitoring / Stream flow
Dams have often been constructed for hydropower, water storage and to support socio-economic development, particularly in areas of water stress. In many places, the water stored in human-made reservoirs is essential to meet the development objectives of water supply, agriculture, industry, energy generation and other sectors. However, in the absence of adequate foresight and planning, many past dams have had considerable negative impacts on ecosystems and the livelihoods of affected communities, resulting in conflicts and health hazards. While enhanced human health and well-being could be considered as the ultimate outcome of development programs, the public health impact of dams remains an issue that is often neglected by policy makers and investors. National policies and international guidelines, such as those of the World Commission on Dams, have been used to improve planning and impact assessment of dams. Here, we provide an analysis of four large dams, across three continents, and show that they had limited consistency with World Commission on Dams principles and guidelines. Moreover, health aspects were largely neglected during planning, construction and operation of these dams, but seriously undermine their intended benefits. This perspective paper discusses impacts of dams on energy and food, ecosystem health, inclusion, and ultimately human health and wellbeing. We argue that a One Health perspective, based on these four categories, can support the systematic consideration of environmental, animal, and human health determinants. A dedicated One Health approach to dams and reservoirs remains to be developed but could potentially improve how dams, both existing and future, support more inclusive development.
Inclusion / Communities / Livelihoods / Food production / Energy / Impact assessment / Ecosystems / Diseases / Environmental factors / Hydropower / Irrigation / One Health approach / Human health / Reservoirs / Dams
Stakeholders / Climate services / Fertilizers / Policies / Transformation / Social change / Rainfall / Farmers / Smallholders / Women / Communities / Households / Climate change adaptation / Climate resilience
The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) offers subsidies for off-grid Solar Irrigation Pumps (SIPs) to promote sustainable irrigation practices. The utilization of these off-grid SIPs is low due to irrigation demand patterns. The potential for gridconnected solar irrigation is increasing as Nepalapos;s national utility grid network grows. Nevertheless, despite net metering regulations, off-grid SIPs are not integrated into the national grid. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is implementing a pilot project called Solar Irrigation for Agriculture Resilience in South Asia (SoLAR-SA). The project aims to explore gridconnected solar irrigation and answer policy questions on the best techno-institutional model for grid integration in Nepal. Collaboration among major stakeholders during the implementation of pilot projects will contribute to developing guiding policies for grid-connected solar irrigation. Establishing specific policies for net metering targeted at agriculture meters is crucial for the scalability of grid-connected solar irrigation.
Resilience / Agriculture / Institutions / Farmers / Government / Business models / Policies / Groundwater / Sustainability / Solar energy / Pumps / Solar powered irrigation systems
El Nio’s effects on southern African agriculture in 2023/24 and anticipatory action strategies to reduce the impacts in Zimbabwe
The frequency of El Nio occurrences in southern Africa surpasses the norm, resulting in erratic weather patterns that significantly impact food security, particularly in Zimbabwe. The effects of these weather patterns posit that El Nio occurrences have contributed to the diminished maize yields. The objective is to give guidelines to policymakers, researchers, and agricultural stakeholders for taking proactive actions to address the immediate and lasting impacts of El Nio and enhance the resilience of the agricultural industry. This brief paper provides prospective strategies for farmers to anticipate and counteract the El Nio-influenced dry season projected for 2023/24 and beyond. The coefficient of determination R2 between yield and ENSO was low; 11 of the 13 El Nio seasons had a negative detrended yield anomaly, indicating the strong association between El Nino’s effects and the reduced maize yields in Zimbabwe. The R2 between the Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) and rainfall (43%) and between rainfall and yield (39%) indirectly affects the association between ONI and yield. To safeguard farmers’ livelihoods and improve their preparedness for droughts in future agricultural seasons, this paper proposes a set of strategic, tactical, and operational decision-making guidelines that the agriculture industry should follow. The importance of equipping farmers with weather and climate information and guidance on drought and heat stress was underscored, encompassing strategies such as planting resilient crop varieties, choosing resilient livestock, and implementing adequate fire safety measures.
Farmers / Agricultural sector / Crop yield / Crop production / Mitigation / Heat stress / Drought / Rainfall / Weather / Climate services / Disaster risk reduction / Strategies / Early warning systems / El Nino
Gendered implications of polluted drainage water use in agri-food value chains in Egypt: current context and practical recommendations
Water management in Egypt presents unique challenges. Being waterscarce, the country needs to use its limited freshwater reserves efficiently and effectively, particularly for irrigation, which accounts for over 70% of the total freshwater availability. Egypt has a network of irrigation canals and water-reuse drains that were built since the introduction of cotton cultivation in the colonial era to enable agricultural drainage and the reuse of water for irrigation. This facilitated expansion of the cultivated area with a view to improving food security and income. However, the design of efficient water reuse for irrigation does not come without attendant challenges. With more and more farmers coming to rely on polluted drainage water for irrigation, an alarming inconsistency in the quality of treated drainage water is now evident (Ashour et al. 2021). The focus of our study, which was funded by the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform, was to understand the gendered implications of these changes and challenges. Adopting a feminist political ecology approach, we analyze the gendered power dynamics within productive, irrigated agriculture, focusing on the everyday lived experiences of diverse groups of women, farmers and irrigators.
Tenant farmers / Water user associations / Water pollution / Water governance / Freshwater / Irrigated farming / Irrigation water / Water reuse / Wastewater / Water management / Women / Gender / Value chains / Agrifood sector / Water use / Drainage canals / Drainage water
‘Is there value for us in agriculture?’ A case study of youth participation in agricultural value chains in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Developing countries in Africa face an unemployment crisis, with many unemployed youth. Agriculture has been identified as a strategic sector for employment creation targeted at youth, including those who may not have agriculture-related qualifications. However, various challenges limit the effectiveness of youth participation in the agriculture value chain. The study aimed to (i) determine youth awareness of agricultural value-chain opportunities, (ii) determine their perception of their role in the value chain, (iii) determine their perception of agricultural programs targeting youth and their opinions on who is responsible for attracting youth into agriculture and, (iv) to characterise the dynamics of youth empowerment in agriculture. Data was collected using focus group discussions and an online survey and analysed using SPSS and NVivo. Poor knowledge, low levels of awareness of agricultural value-chain activities and careers, and not meeting the minimum requirements for employment in processing and retail businesses were identified as key challenges. Most youth were interested in non-primary activities such as agro-processing, which are less labour-intensive and have a quicker return on investment than agricultural production. However, support services and programs for promoting youth participation in agriculture mainly focus on primary activities, signifying a mismatch between youth aspirations and current support. Understanding youth aspirations, perceptions and dynamics underpinning youth empowerment and participation in value chains is critical for promoting participation and formulating relevant and responsive policies. Additionally, improving access to information and building awareness of agricultural value chains is crucial in reducing barriers to entry. Policymakers should integrate agriculture and food systems knowledge into the primary education curriculum to promote youth awareness and evoke interest in agri-food system careers at an early age.
Case studies / Stakeholders / Socioeconomic aspects / Rural development / Food systems / Partnerships / Awareness-raising / Empowerment / Inclusion / Agricultural value chains / Participation / Youth employment
Assessment of the effects of NPK fertilizer on edible yield and agro-biological parameters in a cowpea–amaranth intercrop
Introduction: Estimates indicate that food and nutritional demand in sub-Saharan African nutrient-poor soils will exceed the high population demand. Vegetables such as amaranth and cowpea are key in contributing to food and nutritional security. Fertilizers are used to mitigate low nutrient levels in soils. This study aimed to investigate the yield parameters of cowpea and amaranth vegetables. Methods: The experiment was designed with a 2 × 4 factorial treatment structure in a completely randomized design, with intercropping and fertilizer level as treatment factors and with four replications. Results and discussion: The biomass of amaranth and cowpea increased with increased fertilizer application up to the level of 100% nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) fertilizer. A measure of land utilization showed values greater than one. Crop comparison showed that cowpea was more aggressive, had higher actual yield loss, and was highly competitive compared to amaranth. More income could be obtained from intercropping. The research shows the benefits of fertilizer application in improving the biomass of amaranth and cowpea. Overall, the application of NPK fertilizer at levels up to 100%, based on the results of this study, resulted in higher biomass accumulation and improved intercropping indices.
Land use / Potassium / Phosphate fertilizers / Nitrogen fertilizers / Biomass / Nutrition security / Food security / Parameters / Yield losses / Cropping systems / Crop yield / Intercropping / Amaranthus / Cowpeas / NPK fertilizers
Enabling gender and social inclusion in climate and agriculture policy and planning through foresight processes: assessing challenges and leverage points
Scenario-guided foresight processes are increasingly used to engage a broad range of stakeholders in sharing knowledge, reflecting, and setting priorities to respond to present and future climate change related dynamics. They are particularly useful to inform agricultural policies and planning in the face of a changing climate. Such participatory approaches are key to integrating multidisciplinary expertise, perspectives, and viewpoints, and ensuring that the multi-faceted vulnerabilities and the development needs of diverse groups are addressed in the design, planning, and implementation of climate adaptation policy. However, in practice, ensuring meaningful participation in the policy process is far from straightforward. In this paper, we examine the integration of gender and social inclusion considerations in 15 scenario-guided foresight use cases across Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia to determine the ways in which gender and social inclusion dynamics were considered and integrated at different stages of scenario-guided planning processes. To inform the analysis, we use qualitative data from key informant interviews, interviewing scenario coordinators and a gender and social inclusion expert who was engaged in one of the cases; we also review associated reports and outputs. The results suggest that few scenario-guided planning processes centred gender and social inclusion considerations from an early stage and consistently throughout the interventions, translating often into low diversity of stakeholders and insufficient depth reached in the content produced. A number of common challenges are reported including time, budget, and human resource constraints, as well as existing power and institutional dynamics. The latter includes, for instance, low women’s representation in technical organizations or important hierarchical social norms structuring discussions. While the focus on the future can disrupt established modes of doing, the complexity of foresight methods can also undermine effective participation leading to important trade-offs. Innovations in the modes of engagement and parallel processes with diverse groups can be important leverage points for inclusion within policymaking processes.
Adaptation / Decision making / Participatory approaches / Stakeholder engagement / Social inclusion / Gender equality / Planning / Agricultural policies / Climate change
Local and regional climate trends and variabilities in Ethiopia: implications for climate change adaptations
Ethiopia is experiencing considerable impact of climate change and variability in the last five decades. Analyzing climate trends and variability is essential to develop effective adaptation strategies, particularly for countries vulnerable to climate change. This study analyzed trends and variabilities of climate (rainfall, maximum temperature (Tmax), and minimum temperature (Tmin)) at local and regional scales in Ethiopia. The local analysis was carried out considering each meteorological station, while the regional analyses were based on agroecological zones (AEZs). This study used observations from 47 rainfall and 37 temperature stations obtained from the Ethiopian Meteorological Institute (EMI) for the period of 1986 to 2020. The Modified Mann-Kendall (MMK) trend test and Theil Sen’s slope estimator were used to analyze the trends and magnitudes of change, respectively, in rainfall as well as temperature. The coefficient of variation (CV) and standardized anomaly index (SAI) were also employed to evaluate rainfall and temperature variabilities. The local level analysis revealed that Bega (dry season), Kiremt (main rainy season), and annual rainfall showed increasing trend, albeit no significant, in most stations, but the rainfall in Belg (small rainy) season showed a non-significant decreasing trend. The regional levels analysis also indicated an increasing trend of Bega, Kiremt, and annual rainfall in most AEZs, while Belg rainfall showed a decreasing trend in the greater number of AEZs. The result of both local and regional levels of analysis discerned a spatially and temporally more homogeneous warming trend. Both Tmax and Tmin revealed an increasing trend in annual and seasonal scales at most meteorological stations. Likewise, an increase was recorded for mean Tmax and Tmin in entire/most AEZs. The observed trends and variabilities of rainfall and temperature have several implications for climate change adaptations. For example, the decrease in Belg rainfall in most AEZs would have a negative impact on areas that heavily depend on Belg season’s rainfall for crop production. Some climate adaptation options include identifying short maturing crop varieties, soil moisture conservation, and supplemental irrigation of crops using harvested water during the main rainy season. Conversely, since the first three months of Bega season (October to December) are crop harvest season in most parts of Ethiopia, the increase in Bega rainfall would increase crop harvest loss, and hence, early planting date and identifying short maturing crops during the main rainy season are some climate adaptation strategies. Because of the increase in temperature, water demand for irrigation during Bega season will increase due to increased evapotranspiration. On the other hand, the increase in Kiremt rainfall can be harvested and used for supplemental irrigation during Bega as well as the small rainy season, particularly for early planting. In view of these findings,
Spatial distribution / Meteorological stations / Agroecological zones / Temperature / Rainfall / Strategies / Trends / Climate variability / Climate change adaptation
Mapping Decision Support Tools (DSTs) on agricultural water productivity: a global systematic scoping review
While there is a proliferation of Decision Support Tools (DSTs) to enhance agricultural water productivity (AWP) and related objectives such as food security, an assessment of their adoption and performance is not known to be undertaken. To develop new or improved DSTs for bespoke applications in optimizing AWP, there needs to be a stock-take of the existing tools, their functionality, user-friendliness and uptake. We compiled and assessed existing DSTs for AWP as a starting point for present and future developers who intend to improve existing or develop new DSTs for optimizing AWP. Secondarily, this review identifies DSTs’ key characteristics, availability, and applicability for different typologies and spatio-temporal scales. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) approach was applied to search for literature from Scopus and WoS databases. The study revealed the existence of 81 documented AWP DSTs whose development started from around the 1970 s, peaked in the 1990 s, and declined after that although the improvement and upgrading of existing DSTs continued. Over half (51%) of the DSTs are not readily available in the public domain. The prevalent spatial and temporal application scales are field and day, respectively. There is limited reporting on the application at scale, partly due to the wide unavailability of DSTs. A gap exists in AWP DSTs with geospatial capabilities (one in 10 or 10% had geographic information systems (GIS) integration capabilities). Most DSTs focus on water and food (yield) components but omit energy and other dimensions of AWP. Regarding format, most tools were available as desktop (35%) and web-based (48%) applications, and codes (27%). Developers should strive to deliver AWP tools in convenient, compatible, and user-friendly for a wide range of users, from novices to experts.
Nexus approaches / Food security / Energy balance / Irrigation scheduling / Remote sensing / Geographical information systems / Systematic reviews / Spatial analysis / Algorithms / Models / Integrated development / Water productivity / Agricultural water management / Mapping / Decision support systems
The relationship between the soil surface temperature and groundwater level is complex and influenced by various factors. As the soil surface temperature increases, water evaporates quickly from the soil, which can lead to a decrease in the groundwater level. In this study, we analyzed the impact of soil surface temperature on changes in the groundwater level in the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan using data from 1991 to 2020. The Bukhara region experiences regular water shortages, increased soil salinization, and inefficient energy in lift-irrigated areas, which is a typical constellation of challenges to the water–energy–food–environment (WEFE) nexus. The soil surface temperature data were collected from the Hydrometeorological Service Agency, whereas groundwater level data were obtained from the database of the Amelioration Expedition under the Amu-Bukhara Basin Irrigation Systems Authority. We used linear regression analysis and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests to establish the significance of the relationship between the soil surface temperature and groundwater level, as well as the impact of the location of the groundwater level measurements. The results indicate that the model was a good fit to the data, and both the intercept and the soil surface temperature were significant factors that affected groundwater level. The results further suggest that the strength of the relationship between solar radiation and soil surface temperature is very high, with a correlation coefficient of 0.840. This means that when solar radiation increases, soil surface temperature also tends to increase. The analysis also showed that 53.5% of the changes in groundwater level were observed by the regression model, indicating a moderately correlated relationship between the groundwater level and soil surface temperature. Finally, higher solar radiation leads to higher soil surface temperature and higher evapotranspiration rates, which can lead to a decrease in groundwater level. As a result, we observe that the soil surface temperature determines changes in the groundwater level in the study region.
Monitoring / Solar radiation / Precipitation / Regression analysis / Nexus approaches / Environmental factors / Foods / Energy / Groundwater level / Surface temperature / Soil temperature
Evaluating the performances of gridded satellite/reanalysis products in representing the rainfall climatology of Ethiopia
This study evaluated performances of the Climate Hazard Group Infrared Precipitation with stations version 2.0 (CHIRPS v2.0) and Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation version 2.8 (MSWEP v2.8) products against observed data. Rainfall climatology was simulated for different agro-ecological zones (AEZs) of Ethiopia during 1991–2020 at different temporal scales. Performance evaluations were made using continuous and statistical performance measures as well as Probability Density Function (PDF). CHIRPS v2.0 for estimating monthly, seasonal, and annual rainfall totals, and MSWEP v2.8 for daily rainfall have shown better performance over all AEZs. The two products display comparable performance for detecting daily rainfall occurrences over alpine AEZ, but MSWEP v2.8 is superior in the rest four AEZs. CHIRPS v2.0 outperforms MSWEP v2.8 for detecting most of the daily rainfall intensity classes over all AEZs. The findings will play a noteworthy role to improve the quality of hydro-climate studies in Ethiopia.
Precipitation / Agroecological zones / Satellite observation / Climatology / Performance assessment / Weather data / Datasets / Rainfall
Pumping behavior of solar irrigation farmers for assessing the sustainability of groundwater in Bangladesh and India
The increasing use of Solar Irrigation Pumps (SIPs) has raised concerns about the overexploitation of groundwater. So, this study aims to evaluate the impact of SIPs on pumping behaviour of farmers and its subsequent effect on overall groundwater resources in Bangladesh and India. In Bangladesh, the study is being carried out in the intensively irrigated North-West region, where the government is promoting the feefor- service model for solar irrigation. This model creates a solar irrigation command area by setting up centralized sponsored SIPs. In India, the study is being conducted in the state of Gujarat, where the grid-connected solar irrigation pump model has been implemented under the Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) scheme.
Agriculture / Government / Groundwater extraction / Solar energy / Pumps / Groundwater irrigation / Sustainability / Farmers / Pumping / Solar powered irrigation systems
Drought is an almost annual phenomenon affecting many parts of Sri Lanka, causing huge damage to agriculture and losses to the broader economy in general and farmers in particular. Climate change threatens to exacerbate these risks. Risk transfer mechanisms, such as crop insurance schemes, may help buffer farmers against these hazards and has gained attention as an adaptation response to become an important element in agricultural risk management. Despite the numerous efforts over several decades to popularize crop insurance as a risk transfer tool in the country under heavy subsidies, farmers’ voluntary enrollment in crop insurance has been very low. Therefore, understanding the farmers’ behaviors and attitudes towards crop insurance and the potential of such programs in emerging climate-induced vulnerabilities is critical to enhancing the welfare of the farming community. This paper assesses the factors that influence willingness to enroll for crop insurance among farmers in irrigated and rainfed farming system in the drought-prone North Central Province of Sri Lanka using a logistic regression model. The study sample consisted of 149 irrigated farmers and 51 rainfed farmers selected randomly. Regression results show that farmer’s age, agriculture as the primary source of income, irrigation as the source of water, and availability of supplementary water source are significantly related to willingness to pay (WTP) for insurance. The overall results indicate the role of household socioeconomic factors and their contextualized risk perceptions shape the adoption decision of crop insurance. The findings of the paper contribute to that end through primary data from a rainfed and irrigated areas in the province. Although the present research was carried out in a limited area, the study area is dominated by the traditional nature of agricultural practices by smallholder farmers in a drought exposed environment, the findings of the study should apply to the rest of the dry zone areas in the country. The results on factors affecting farmers’ willingness to purchase crop insurance assist the practitioners and policymakers to draft the guidelines and strategies for more inclusive interventions for agriculture risk management and building farmer resilience.
Socioeconomic aspects / Households / Rainfed farming / Irrigated farming / Risk management / Risk transfer / Resilience / Vulnerability / Natural disasters / Drought / Climate change / Agricultural insurance / Crop insurance / Farmers / Smallholders / Willingness to pay / Weather index insurance
Working / Discussion Paper
A Digital Twin (DT) is a digital representation of reality. This report explores the implementation of DT in the context of basin scale water management, with a particular focus on developing countries. The review begins with an examination of the background of DT and then delves into successful applications of DT particularly in developing nations. It also explores the potential of integrating Virtual Reality (VR) technologies as a part of DT, emphasizing the importance of stakeholder needs assessment for effective deployment. The review highlights the significance of data infrastructure architecture and data governance in the context of Digital Twins. The review concentrates on the published literature and the application of Digital Twins to river basins, emphasizing their role in decision-making at this level and outlining various use cases for water management. Furthermore, it assesses the expected impact of DT through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The review concludes by exploring the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the context of DT for river basins. Overall, this review summarizes the potential benefits and challenges of implementing DT for water management in developing countries.
Stakeholders / Environmental flows / Water quality / Sustainable Development Goals / Water management / Water resources / Models / Decision making / Frameworks / Governance / Datasets / Machine learning / Artificial intelligence / Developing countries / River basin management / Digital technology
This policy brief — produced under the CGIAR Initiative on Asian Mega-Deltas (AMD) — emphasizes the urgent need for promoting inclusive governance in Bangladeshapos;s agri-food systems to enhance resilience in the face of escalating climate risks. Although Bangladesh is transitioning toward climate-resilient agri-food systems, this shift faces challenges. There is notable variation among policies and interventions pertaining to food, water and environmental systems in their acknowledgment of socio-ecological interdependencies and representation of marginalized communities. This highlights the need for policies that address interlinked social, economic and political inequalities within the agri-food sector and translating the policies into practice. A gap also exists between local experiences of food insecurity and climate resilience and expert-led innovations. Key recommendations in this brief call for the promotion of nature-based solutions, leveraging the progressive National Adaptation Plan, and establishing a robust gender-focused fiscal system. These recommendations, which are aligned with the eight principles of locally led adaptation, underscore the vital role of empowering local communities to lead effective climate change adaptation efforts, ultimately fostering a more sustainable and resilient agri-food sector in Bangladesh.
Vulnerability / Financing / Institutions / Participation / Innovation / Communities / Marginalization / Women / Social inclusion / Gender equality / Intervention / Policies / Climate resilience / Governance / Agrifood systems
An index for enabling socially inclusive digital innovation processes in food, land, and water systems
Currently metrics for assessing digital inclusivity focus on evaluating the outcomes of digital innovation rather than the process of developing such innovations. Digital inclusivity has five different dimensions, spanning both technical and social aspects, and therefore requires a holistic approach to attain. We propose a digital inclusivity index as a holistic and standard guideline for enabling digital inclusivity in food land and water systems. Since formal research and development is skewed towards the Global North, such an index may embody the perspectives and interests of organisations based in the Global North, and will therefore require testing, validation and co-development with stakeholders based in the Global South.
Indicators / Participatory approaches / Stakeholders / Guidelines / Water systems / Land resources / Food systems / Social inclusion / Innovation / Digital technology
The mini stream assessment scoring system (miniSASS) was developed as a citizen science biomonitoring tool for assessing the water quality and health of stream and river systems. A miniSASS survey involves sampling the aquatic macroinvertebrate community in a stream or river reach and using the known sensitivities and tolerances of the taxa present to infer information about the water quality and health of the stream or river. The quality of the outcomes of a miniSASS survey is dependent on good sampling technique and accurate identification of aquatic macroinvertebrates by low-skilled citizen scientists. As such, there is potential for errors in sampling and identification which may impact the accuracy of results. In response, we aimed to 1) develop a smartphone application (miniSASS mobile app with built-in machine learning (ML) algorithm for the automatic, real-time identification of aquatic macroinvertebrates) to assist in miniSASS surveys, 2) modernise and upgrade the miniSASS website to handle new data submissions (including photographs) and improve the user interface (UI), and 3) develop an online miniSASS training course. This report presents the methodology and preliminary results pertaining to these objectives.
Sustainable Development Goals / Training / Databases / Algorithms / Machine learning / Mobile applications / Macroinvertebrates / Water quality / Rivers / Biomonitoring / Citizen science / Digital technology
Beyond the digital divide: a multi-dimensional approach to enabling digital inclusivity in food, land, and water systems
In what is proclaimed as the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, digital innovation is thought to have the potential to provide solutions to key challenges facing food production and consumption together with the support of sustainability of the underpinning support of land, and water systems. Nowhere is this more the case in less-industrialised countries, which largely have agrarian based economies. Applications of digital innovations include faster and more reliable communication, better collection, analysis, and storage of data, enhancing democratic processes and transparency in governance, affordable financial services and can provide the basis for decision support. However, there is a risk that people with less formal education and skills and little resource endowments as well as particular groups of people such as women will be excluded from participating or benefiting from digital innovation, the so-called digital divide. In addition, there is a risk that people, communities, and societies may be disadvantaged or harmed by digital innovation processes. Digital inclusivity within food, land and water systems are approaches in digital innovation need to include the differing needs and resources of men, women, youth, indigenous communities who produce most the world’s food in smallholder land holdings. Here we provide the state-of-the-art evidence from peer reviewed literature and other literature in support of these statements. On the basis of this and our wider anecdotal experience we present, a holistic multi-dimensional framework for digital inclusivity. The aim of the digital inclusivity index (and supporting tools) is to provide a resource to guide to transform and change development and application of digital innovations. Specifically, it provides governments, funders, researchers, and development agencies a framework on how to assess, minimise and lessen exclusion from digital innovation. This is achieved through increasing awareness of the characteristics of digital exclusion, recognising the needs of the actors that they target with digital interventions which are more inclusive, making interventions more participatory and mitigating any potential harm that can be caused by digital innovation. We also argue that the approach to digital innovation needs to be set within the context of a wide ranging ‘digital ecosystem’ where different actors contribute knowledge and resources, and digital innovation goes beyond the adoption and use of technologies to include changes in preexisting social arrangement and institutions.
Participation / Social structure / Digital divide / Water systems / Land resources / Food systems / Indicators / Frameworks / Social inclusion / Digital technology
Combining sub-surface fertigation with conservation agriculture in intensively irrigated rice under rice-wheat system can be an option for sustainably improving water and nitrogen use-efficiency
Context: The rice-wheat cropping system in the Indo-Gangetic plains (IGP) of South Asia has been shown to have higher productivity. However, this benefit is offset by the unsustainable over-drafting of groundwater resources. Given the growing scarcity of water, it is imperative to investigate alternative crop establishment and irrigation methods that do not rely on the conventional puddled transplanting method (PTR).; Objective: This study aims to assess the impact of combining conservation agriculture-CA with sub-surface drip irrigation-SSD referred to as CA+, at different nitrogen (N) doses on physiological performance, crop yield, irrigation and nitrogen use-efficiency, as well as farm profitability of rice in the north-western IGP of India.; Method: A two-year field experiment was conducted to assess the effects of medium-term CA and the combination of CA with SSD (CA+) at three levels of N (0%, 75%, and 100% of the recommended dose), in comparison to PTR using recommended dose of nitrogen-RDN (120 kg N ha-1). Indicators of crop growth (under CA, CA+), i.e., biomass, grain yield, water-use, water-use efficiency (WUE), nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE), and economic analysis of rice production were evaluated and compared with PTR.; Result: The results revealed that the PTR plots produced 15% and 11% higher grain yield than CA and CA+ systems, respectively, even at 100%RDN, due to a significantly higher number of fertile tillers. However, the application of 100%RDN and irrigation through SSD resulted in a significant increase in nitrogen uptake (4.5%) and remobilization (7.5%) into the grain compared to PTR. The CA+ plots demonstrated a reduction in irrigation water usage by 1.5 and 2 times compared to the CA and PTR systems, leading to a respective increase in WUE by 1.6% and 1.8%. PTR exhibited highest net returns, while the CA+ treatment– SSD-N100 achieved the highest benefit-cost ratio.; Conclusion: The combination of CA with SSD at 100%RDN offers significant benefits, including notable water saving, improved WUE, NUE and crop yield. This integrated approach presents a promising solution to address the pressing issues of food security and sustainability arising from water scarcity and groundwater depletion in South Asia.; Future implication: There is a need to increase awareness among farmers about the benefits of CA coupled with SSD i.e., CA+ , for water-intensive rice-based systems. Additionally, further research should focus on identifying ideal rice cultivars suitable for CA+ systems and determining the optimal specifications for drip lines and emitter discharge rates for diverse water-scarce agro-ecological conditions.
Irrigated rice / Conservation agriculture / Fertigation / Crop yield / Nitrogen-use efficiency / Water-use efficiency / Drip irrigation / Subsurface irrigation
Changes in soil properties with long-term organic inputs due to distance from homestead and farm characteristics in southern Ethiopian farmlands
Traditional farming systems across much of Sub-Saharan Africa have greater organic inputs near to the homestead than in fields further away. This is likely to produce a fertility gradient that impacts production capacity, and so provides an opportunity to explore impacts of organic amendments on soils. Across 198 farm plots in 69 households in Halaba, Southern Ethiopia, we investigated the influence of different organic input systems on soil properties. The study also examined the influence of household and farm characteristics on the adoption of land management practices and its impact on soil properties. Samples were taken from farm plots located close (300 m) from the homestead, representing different levels of organic amendments. Soils located close to homesteads had significantly greater soil organic carbon, cation exchange capacity and soil nutrient content compared to soil located near and far from the homestead areas. Soil organic carbon concentrations close to the home were 15%, 27% and 45% greater than farm plots located at far from the home in Andegna Choroko, Asore and Lay Arisho kebeles, respectively. Across all sites, the mean soil organic carbon stock ranged from 20.6 t ha- 1 to 84.6 t ha- 1 , depending on the location of the plots with respect to the homestead. Household and farm characteristics also influenced land management practices and soil properties. In some catchments, farm plots managed by female headed households and relatively rich farmers displayed significantly greater soil organic carbon than farm plots managed by male headed and relatively poor households. This was likely due to greater organic inputs in female headed households in areas where men were otherwise engaged in off-farm activities and in wealthier households with greater access to organic manures. Tree cover in farmlands influenced accumulation of soil organic carbon. The results suggest that out-scaling farm management practices that are common around homesteads, such as adding animal manure or household wastes and maintaining tree cover, would help to improve key soil properties and agricultural productivity.
Women / Gender / Income / Households / Agricultural productivity / Cation exchange capacity / Canopy / Agricultural practices / Farmland / Soil organic carbon / Soil fertility / Soil properties
Training / Course Materials and Fact Sheet
Pumping / Batteries / Maintenance / Installation / Photovoltaic systems / Solar energy / Manuals / Training materials / Pumps / Solar powered irrigation systems
Rangelands / Disaster preparedness / Action plans / Stakeholders / Policies / Government / Groundwater / Mitigation / Vulnerability / Weather hazards / Climate change / Rainfed farming / Agricultural sector / Forecasting / Precipitation / Early warning systems / Impact assessment / Monitoring / Risk management / Drought
Communities / Stakeholders / Government / Policies / Financing / Farmers / Smallholders / Agricultural sector / Precipitation / Forecasting / Early warning systems / Vulnerability / Climate change / Action plans / Impact assessment / Monitoring / Risk management / Drought
Improve acceptance of water reuse: guidelines for planners, investors, project designers and operators [Thematic Brief of the ReWater MENA Project]
Planning / Project design / Public participation / Water quality / Water security / Water management / Water resources / Technology / Stakeholders / Guidelines / Water reuse
Harmonious governance frameworks for water reuse: guidelines for planners, investors, project designers and operators [Thematic Brief of the ReWater MENA Project]
Guidelines / Planning / Project design / Conflicts / Political aspects / Water treatment / Water quality / Institutions / Stakeholders / Decision making / Governance / Frameworks / Water reuse
Gender mainstreaming in water reuse: guidelines for planners, investors, project designers and operators [Thematic Brief of the ReWater MENA Project]
Policies / Guidelines / Investment / Planning / Project design / Employment / Children / Youth / Men / s participation / Womenapos / Gender-transformative approaches / Gender equality / Water reuse / Gender mainstreaming
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