Pathways to Increasing Farmer-led Investments in Sustainable Agricultural Water Management
We will discuss the major challenges to increasing agricultural production in Africa: climate change, soil conditions, infrastructure, lack of access to resources (including financial) and civil conflict. Irrigation could increase agricultural yields as much as tenfold, yet commercial pivot operations are costly and resource intensive. Our discussion will focus on case studies and research on innovative approaches to irrigation that could benefit smallholders in a variety of contexts. Solutions need to be specific to the local area contexts, yet offer scaleability to benefit more people in broader geographic regions. Scaling-up the pace of African irrigation development, and helping farmers increase their productivity and profits, requires new thinking about the means to do this. Farmers need to have greater access to information, such as how to use water more productively, as well as input and output markets.