African smallholder irrigation: double yields with half the water!

Convenor(s):
CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems; Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network; International Union for Conservation of Nature and The Australian National University

Sustainable and inclusive intensification of smallholder irrigation in Africa is key to meeting the global challenges of securing food for a growing population and reducing poverty with limited water resources. Smallholder irrigation has performed well below potential in Africa with a record of low yields and farmers trapped in poverty, as large portions of irrigation equipped lands are not maintained and abandoned. Yet large-scale expansion of irrigation is planned by many governments and prioritised for investment to meet development goals.
This session considers new ways of working with irrigation communities in Africa to intensify sustainable agricultural production profitably by using water more efficiently, reducing waste of land and nutrients and facilitating socially-inclusive investment.  The audience and panellists will discuss the scalability of recent experiences of innovation platforms in smallholder irrigation and new business models to achieve development goals. The session will share experience from three major programs, providing guidance on how to transform smallholder irrigated agriculture in Africa and double yield with half the water by facilitating the right feedback mechanisms to develop adaptive systems. We will show how such transformation can open new opportunities to make investment in growth corridors inclusive and green and enhance the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Wednesday 14:00-15:30
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