Tag: solar

Men checking up an irrigation water system. Photo: Neil Palmer / IWMI

Thinking Hydrologically

Water is running out in Central Asia. New approaches to water regulation, energy production, and agricultural education are necessary to be able to feed the region.

Study finds public investment in farmer-led irrigation is more likely to...

A recent study by IWMI provides important insights for efforts to expand farmer-led groundwater irrigation (including solar irrigation pumps) in Ethiopia.
Farmers attending a solar irrigation pump demonstration by Pumptech during a fieldtrip to Bawku, Ghana.

How market knowledge is powering Africa’s solar irrigation sector

Data-driven tools are helping solar irrigation companies target their products and services to the right people, in the right way.
Drip irrigation used in the cabbage farm to irrigate the cultivation. Photo: Adam Öjdahl / IWMI

Water’s role in boosting nutrition, health and food security

Developing business models that governments and the private sector take seriously, so that better use of water can lead to better nutrition, health and food security.

Women in Leadership: behind the scenes

Even in countries where gender norms prevail, women have, and will continue to, forge a path to leadership. With support from organisations like the CGIAR and IWMI, we can continue to equip both men and women with the knowledge and tools to lead.
A woman farmer inspecting sprinkler. Photo: Hamish John Appleby / IWMI

A new tool to help scale water innovations

Making innovative water management and irrigation technologies available to farmers on a massive scale is crucial if we are to meet growing food demands and mitigate climate change impacts.
Aerial view of solar pumps in Samastipur district, India. Photo: Metro Media / IWMI

How to grow nutritious food without over-extracting groundwater

It is important that our agriculture and electricity policies are geared towards the condition of groundwater resources.
Vegetable farmer who uses solar pumps for irrigation in Sayapatri Tol, Budiganga Rural Municipality 7, Morang District of Nepal. Photo: Nabin Baral / IWMI

Grantees from South Asia awarded funds to develop innovations enhancing solar...

IWMI and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation have awarded five organisations with funds to develop innovations for solar irrigation.
Photo: Futurepump

Challenge winner moves forward with IoT to develop world first database

A network of solar irrigation pumps equipped with sensors that connect to the Internet will potentially provide a world first database of groundwater usage in sub-Saharan Africa.
24 years old Mohan Das works on a sprinkling system energized through a submerged solar pump at a private farm in Klashar.

Press Release: Project makes water from the sun for climate smart...

World’s largest user of groundwater for agriculture looks to solar for a more sustainable future.  

Innovation bundles

Farmer-led irrigation development is about much more than installing a pump in a field. It requires access to financing, labor, energy, and input and output markets, so that investments in irrigation translate into sustainable returns. IWMI uses a systemic approach to understand the farming system as well as the factors in the enabling environment that prevent women, men and youth from engaging in and benefitting equitably from farmer-led irrigation. We partner with farmers and the public and private sectors to test contextually relevant innovation bundles that combine irrigation technology such as solar pumps with financing mechanisms like pay-as-you-own or pay-as-you-go, agricultural inputs and agronomic techniques. We also look at ways to improve on-farm water management and nutrient use efficiency and reduce evapotranspiration through digital advances and agricultural extension. We integrate the scaling of innovation bundles into agricultural value chains to enhance the impacts on farmers’ irrigation investments, incomes and livelihoods.

This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:

Nutrition, health and food security Poverty reduction, livelihoods and jobs Gender equality, youth and inclusion Environmental health and biodiversity Climate adaptation and mitigation

Gender and social inclusion

The barriers facing women and men in accessing irrigation technologies are not the same. Neither are the benefits. Social, cultural and religious norms influence inter- and intra-household power relations. These, in turn, affect access to resources such as land, credit, information and training. IWMI carries out cross-dimensional analysis of gender and social inclusion in policy, financing, livelihood assets and access, institutional approaches and interventions as well as gender-based technology preferences. For example, we work with farmers, financial institutions and the private sector to address gender-based constraints in credit scoring and enhance women’s purchasing power. But benefitting from farmer-led irrigation does not stop at accessing and adopting technologies; enabling women and resource-poor farmers to participate in input and output markets is equally important to ensure that investments in irrigation result in improved nutrition and economic empowerment. Other ways we enhance gender and social inclusion include tackling agency issues around financial management and literacy, livelihood diversity and social capital as well as access to infrastructure, extension services and market linkages.

This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:

Poverty reduction, livelihoods and jobs Gender equality, youth and inclusion

Environmental sustainability

Population pressure and increasing water competition in a changing climate require us to take stock of the availability and use of water across scales. Water availability not only influences farmers’ commercial prospects but also irrigation-related enterprises and agri-businesses. Greater water scarcity could jeopardize irrigation and agricultural markets while excessive water use can lead to declining ecosystems, water quality and soil health. IWMI advises development partners and the public and private sectors on all aspects of water resource availability and use through a variety of advanced modeling and remote-sensing products and tools, including Water Accounting+solar irrigation mapping and internet of things. These are complemented by multi-criteria analysis to evaluate the potential of irrigation expansion, taking into consideration environmental flows. With our private sector partners, we are leveraging converging technologies, such as sensors on solar pumps that capture usage data, to encourage better resource management and governance.

This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:

Environmental health and biodiversity Climate adaptation and mitigation

Adaptive scaling and partnerships

The ability of farmers to engage in or expand irrigation depends on the prevailing socioeconomic, ecological and political contexts, which are often complex, non-linear and changeable. Overcoming systemic barriers to farmer-led irrigation development while taking advantage of existing opportunities requires scaling processes to be adaptive. This means diverse actors feed off, adapt to, support, cooperate, compete and interact with each other, forming different multi-actor networks and engaging in collective action to undertake various functions in the scaling ecosystem. IWMI works with farmers and public and private sector partners to co-design and pilot contextually relevant innovation bundles and their scaling pathways or strategies, influence policies and accelerate the transition to scale of innovations with demonstrated early impact.

This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:

Nutrition, health and food security Poverty reduction, livelihoods and jobs Gender equality, youth and inclusion Environmental health and biodiversity Climate adaptation and mitigation

Financing ecosystem

A lack of affordable credit, particularly for women and resource-poor farmers, is one of the main barriers to expanding farmer-led irrigation in low- and middle-income countries. But credit alone is not enough. Financing for irrigation equipment must be embedded in a wider financing ecosystem that bundles credit with inputs and services, market information and access, and technology such as digital payment. In several countries, irrigation equipment suppliers are stepping in to provide financing directly to farmers. In doing so, they increase their own risk. To address this issue, IWMI works with farmers, private companies, finance institutions and development partners such as the World Bank Group to analyze whether credit-scoring tools are inclusive. We also help to identify gaps in the financing ecosystem and de-risk the private sector from testing innovative end-user financing mechanisms that take into account farming system typologies, financial and social capital and crop seasonality.

This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:

Poverty reduction, livelihoods and jobs Gender equality, youth and inclusion

Human capacity development and knowledge exchange

Scaling farmer-led irrigation requires strengthening human capacity and knowledge exchange among all actors and stakeholders involved. IWMI takes an action research approach, working with national and international research institutions, governments, extension agents and public and private organizations to co-develop the scaling ecosystem and strengthen capacity to drive scaling networks and collective action. We support the development of or reinforce national multi-stakeholder dialogues with the aim of sharing scaling experiences and realizing win-win collaboration, interactive learning and capacity development. Other modalities for capacity development include hackathons, innovation research grants for bachelor’s and master’s students, private sector scaling grants and innovation internships with private companies. These all serve to stimulate local and contextually relevant innovation, close the research-private sector divide and enhance job readiness among young professionals.

This focus area contributes to the following One CGIAR impact areas:

Nutrition, health and food security Poverty reduction, livelihoods and jobs Gender equality, youth and inclusion Environmental health and biodiversity Climate adaptation and mitigation

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