Topic guide on irrigation infrastructure
It is becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy the rising global demand for food; globally there are an estimated 790 million people who have inadequate and poor access to food on a daily basis. Irrigation is critical to meeting this demand as a means to increase agricultural productivity, support economic growth and reduce rural poverty in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Irrigation is also essential if a meaningful contribution is to be made to the Sustainable Development Goal 2; to End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Irrigation must, however, be seen in the wider context of resource management, especially with the risk to resource security posed from the effects of climate change. Many small-holder farmers depend on unreliable rainfall and for food production. Investing in the ‘right’ irrigation infrastructure offers several benefits, including increased crop yields, economic gains and resilience to recurring climate change shocks. However, adoption of irrigation infrastructure has traditionally been low for a number of known reasons including lack of access, prohibitive cost, challenges in maintenance, equipment can be very strenuous to use (especially for women), resource security, limited supply chains for technology, constrained market opportunities for excess produce and lack of clarity of the value of irrigation amongst small-holder farmers. Therefore, we are working on Development and finalisation of a Topic Guide on 'Irrigation infrastructure for sustainable and improved agricultural productivity' .