Farmer-led Irrigation

Smallholder farmers produce more than a third of the global food supply but face challenges such as increasing competition for water, unpredictable rainfall, limited financial capacity and restrictive gender norms. Farmer-led irrigation has significant potential to support agricultural transformation and adaptation to climate change by enabling farmers to produce greater quantities of high-value crops in areas with rainfall variability. Built on the belief that farmers should have agency and autonomy over decision-making related to irrigation, farmer-led irrigation is a process where farmers invest in, expand or improve their agricultural water use by adopting or developing small-scale, locally relevant and market-oriented solutions.

IWMI’s research on farmer-led irrigation focuses on six areas. These aim to influence policy, strengthen irrigation markets, services and value chains, test innovation bundles using renewable energy such as solar and accelerate farmer-led irrigation development in an inclusive and sustainable way. All the focus areas contribute to the broader ambitions of a unified One CGIAR. These are defined by ways to grow, catch, trade and consume healthy and nutritious food while helping the world to live within planetary boundaries, stop the loss of biodiversity and maintain a safe climate.

Click on the icons on the right to find out more or browse the resources below.

Focus Areas

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Innovation bundles[/sg_popup]

[sg_popup id=”43924″ event=”click”] Gender and social inclusion[/sg_popup]

[sg_popup id=”44003″ event=”click”] Environmental sustainability[/sg_popup]

[sg_popup id=”44006″ event=”click”] Adaptive scaling and partnerships[/sg_popup]

[sg_popup id=”44009″ event=”click”] Financing ecosystems[/sg_popup]

[sg_popup id=”44012″ event=”click”] Human capacity development and knowledge exchange[/sg_popup]

Highlights

BlogsEventsVideosProjectsPublicationsTools & DataExpertsPartners
Displaying 6 publications (Show all records)
Enhancing gender and youth inclusion in Ghana’s irrigated vegetable value chain. Adaptive Innovation Scaling - Pathways from Small-scale Irrigation to Sustainable Development (5/12/2023)
Enhancing gender and youth inclusion in Ghana’s irrigated vegetable value chain. Adaptive Innovation Scaling - Pathways from Small-scale Irrigation to Sustainable Development
2023
More... [DOI] | Fulltext (3.60 MB)
Price, credit or ambiguity? Increasing small-scale irrigation in Ethiopia (12/28/2022)
Price, credit or ambiguity? Increasing small-scale irrigation in Ethiopia
World Development, 2023
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Institutional gender mainstreaming in small-scale irrigation: lessons from Ethiopia (12/13/2023)
Institutional gender mainstreaming in small-scale irrigation: lessons from Ethiopia
2023
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Effective demand for climate-smart adaptation: a case of solar technologies for cocoa irrigation in Ghana (09/29/2023)
Effective demand for climate-smart adaptation: a case of solar technologies for cocoa irrigation in Ghana
Sustainable Environment, 2023
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Unlocking the potential of farmer-led irrigation development in central and northern Nigeria: what does it take? (08/24/2023)
Unlocking the potential of farmer-led irrigation development in central and northern Nigeria: what does it take?
2023
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Determining the marketing margin for irrigation technologies in Ghana: a supply chain perspective. Adaptive Innovation Scaling - Pathways from Small-scale Irrigation to Sustainable Development (08/23/2023)
Determining the marketing margin for irrigation technologies in Ghana: a supply chain perspective. Adaptive Innovation Scaling - Pathways from Small-scale Irrigation to Sustainable Development
2023
More... [DOI] | Fulltext (1.05 MB)

Potential for Solar Photovoltaic-based Irrigation

An interactive online tool to identify suitable areas for solar-based irrigation depending on water sources, soil and land characteristics, market proxies and pump characteristics across sub-Saharan Africa. The solar suitability mapping framework was developed using a GIS-based multi-criteria evaluation technique and implemented by combining spatial information from a number of geospatial drivers for solar-based irrigation.

Analyzing the Enabling Environment to Enhance the Scaling of Irrigation and Water Management Technologies: A Tool for Implementers

Designing scaling strategies that are adaptive to context and available resources requires an understanding of the enabling environment in which the scaling processes are embedded. This can be achieved by conducting an analysis to identify enablers and hinderers influencing farmers’ adoption of irrigation and water management technologies and introducing measures to ensure success. This tool provides implementers with a structured guide to carrying out this analysis.

Considering Gender When Promoting Small-scale Irrigation Technologies

Many actors promoting irrigation technologies in low- and middle-income countries want to ensure that men, women and different social groups have equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from irrigation but are uncertain how to do so. This tool provides a set of questions to assess gender dynamics in irrigation in a specific context.

The Farmer-led Irrigation Development Guide: A What, Why and How-to for Intervention Design

Farmer-led irrigation development (FLID) holds significant potential to safeguard domestic food security and strengthen farmers’ ability to recover from shocks and adapt to a changing environment. The guide aims to provide governments with the practical strategies to catalyze FLID and scale it up, making it a faster, more sustainable and inclusive process.

Water Accounting+

Water accounting integrates hydrological processes with land use, managed water flows and the services that result from water consumption in river basins. Its objective is to achieve equitable and transparent water governance for all users and a sustainable water balance. The Water Accounting+ tool provides independent estimates of water flows, fluxes, stocks, consumption and services.

Name Role/expertise Country Focus areas
Dr. Minh Thai Innovation system scaling, multistakeholder dialogues, enabling environment, policy Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia, Zambia All focus areas except environmental sustainability
Dr. Marie Charlotte Buisson Socioeconomic analysis, agricultural economics Mali, Ethiopia, Niger, Bangladesh Innovation bundles, gender and social inclusion
Hauke Dahl Private sector financing Ghana, Ethiopia, Mali, Zambia Gender and social inclusion, financing ecosystem
Fitsum Hagos Socioeconomic analysis, agricultural economics Ethiopia Financing ecosystem
Dr. Mansoor Leh Water accounting, suitability mapping Sub-Saharan Africa Environmental sustainability
Dr. Manuel Magombeyi Hydrology, agricultural water management Ghana, South Africa, Zambia Innovation bundles, environmental sustainability
Dagmawi Melaku Enabling environment, multistakeholder dialogues Ethiopia Gender and social inclusion, adaptive scaling and partnerships
Dr. Aditi Mukherji Groundwater institutions and policies, climate change Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan Gender and social inclusion, environmental sustainability
Likimyelesh Nigussie Gender expert, institutions Mali, Ethiopia Innovation bundles, gender and social inclusion, financing ecosystem
Abena Ofosu Private sector partnerships, innovation grants and scholarships, irrigation supply chains and services Ghana Gender and social inclusion, adaptive scaling and partnerships
Dr. Paul Pavelic Groundwater hydrology Laos, Nepal, India, sub-Saharan Africa Environmental sustainability
Dr. Lisa Maria Rebelo Remote sensing, water productivity, water accounting Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya Environmental sustainability
Desalegn Tegegne Irrigation engineer Ethiopia Innovation bundles, adaptive scaling and partnerships
Labisha Uprety Agricultural value chains, irrigation supply chains and services Nepal Adaptive scaling and partnerships, financing ecosystem
Shilp Verma Water-energy-food nexus India Innovation bundles, environmental sustainability, adaptive scaling and partnerships
Dr. Azeem Shah Solar irrigation bundles Pakistan Innovation bundles, environmental sustainability, adaptive scaling and partnerships
Dr. Petra Schmitter Agricultural water management, hydrology Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Mali Innovation bundles, environmental sustainability, adaptive scaling and partnerships, human capacity development

IWMI works with a range of national and international partners on farmer-led irrigation. These include:

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Bahir Dar University

Where We Work