Theme 2Interactions between WaterManagement, Food Security andEmployment:Summary of Important Points
A) Context• 870 million people of which 200 millionchildren are food insecure• Most of these live in dry areas• 34 countries are below the waterpoverty line• Irrigation key driver for improving foodsecurity in dry areas – as less than20% of cropland is irrigated
…Context cont’d• The main challenge: How to ensure reliableand increasing quantity and variety of foodsupplies to meet the demands of growingpopulations in different agro-ecologies inthe face of continuous reduction of rainwater and depleting ground water in anenvironment friendly manner at reasonableand affordable prices for consumers whilemaking agricultural production an attractivebusiness which enhances employment andfood security.
B) Premises• No food security without water security• Information is power and hence creatingaccess to information is one way ofempowerment.• Governments are interested and have clearconviction for ensuring water and foodsecurity• Agricultural development creates demand foroutputs of the manufacturing sector and alsotriggers various types of services which havemultiplier effects on GDP and employment.
C) Lessons learned/key messages• A need for integrated approach forpolicy, technology, institutions, researchand extension• Investment in agricultural research alonedoes not lead to the desired outcomes butinvestment in agricultural research alongwith investment in gender sensitiveeducation, irrigation infrastructure, drinkingwater and sanitation, rural road and healthinfrastructure, … is what leads to thehighest returns.
…Lessons learned/key messages• Investment alone is not sufficient: policies,Institutions and incentives at different levels (plot,community, national and international) also mattera lot for success• At the plot level – on farm management (formore efficient water use)• At community level – small dam and watershed management• At national level – Management of canalirrigation and reservoirs• At international level – management of trans-boundary rivers
…Lessons learned/key messages• Defining property rights andcoordination between the institutions isvery important• Building capacity along the wholevalue chain is vital• Traditional information and knowledgeis not sufficient. Site specific anddecentralized information is necessary.
…Lessons learned/key messages• ICTs (mobile phones, internet, social media,etc.) have the potential in filling the missinglinks (or strengthening the weak links) andenhancing:• efficiency in information flow between farmers-extension and the research• involvement of the private sector in providingservices to small holder farmers (includingsatellite coverage and mobile telephoneservices, crop insurance, financial services,input supply and output markets)
…Lessons learned/key messages• Information symmetry which can alsotranslate in to equitable benefit sharing• Better risk management, early warningand advisory services for safety-nets toprevent disaster• The interest of the youth to get involved inthe agriculture value chain• Inclusive benefits to all gender groups,education levels
…Lessons learned/key messages• For effective policy making, there is a need for creatingmechanisms for consistent collection, easy access anduseful and relevant analysis of data at various levels• Site specific data and info necessary to up/out scalelocalized success stories• Irrigation has potential for creating agricultural employmentthrough increased labor demand by high value crops as wellas increased productivity• Market participation is not an option but a necessity.Therefore, there is a need for change in views from foodself-sufficiency to value maximization and activeparticipation in international trade if water and food securityis to be achieved.
…Lessons learned/key messages• Given the tradeoffs, adequately addressing the issues ofwater and food security requires integration (acrosssectors and across different levels and scales of wateruse) as well as south-to-south cooperation.• Valuation of water and increasing the efficiency of thevalue chain would create incentives for effectiveagricultural water management for increased water useefficiency and productivity increases.• Increasing water use efficiency cannot be achieved unlesswe adopt the demand driven approach with effectiveextension that enhances the adoption of improvedtechnologies and market information system that promotescommercialization.
…Lessons learned/key messages• When talking about the importance of sustainable watermanagement and agricultural development, we need toemphasize on the services that agricultural developmenttriggers and the multiplier effect on GDP and employment.• Competing demands could also make it necessary forgovernments to reduce the water allocation for irrigation.This calls for higher investment in research to identifymechanisms for increasing farm-level water use efficiency(including farmer education, alternativetechnologies, introduction of water tariffs based on marginalproducts and strategic shift to high value crops andchanges in food habits) and for increasing the efficiency ofwater distribution systems as well as utilization of treatedwaste water.
D) Actionable Recommendations• Adopt value chain approach to the issue of water and foodsecurity• Make/treat smallholder agriculture as a business thatattracts investments and services• Promote diversification of livelihoods within and without theagriculture sector.• Invest in creating effective, dynamic and responsiveinstitutions (including extension) that ensure delivery ofquality services to all stakeholders.• Governments and donors should invest on building aninnovative and effective extension system• Governments and donors should identify successful modelsand invest in scaling them up/out.
…Actionable Recommendations• Adopt value chain approach to the issue of water and foodsecurity• Make/treat smallholder agriculture as a business thatattracts investments and services• Promote diversification of livelihoods within and without theagriculture sector.• Invest in creating effective, dynamic and responsiveinstitutions (including extension) that ensure delivery ofquality services to all stakeholders.• Governments and donors should invest on building aninnovative and effective extension system• Governments and donors should identify successful modelsand invest in scaling them up/out.
…Actionable Recommendations• Introduce a policy and develop an effective strategy forvaluation of water.• Establish local, regional and national networks for weathermonitoring• Promote ICTs and invest in establishing dynamic andcomprehensive data bases• Adopt community-based watershed management andparticipatory water resource development approacheswhich ensure benefit sharing across all levels• Farmers are willing to pay for good service. Hence, investto improve the service delivery and promote demand drivenapproaches.
…Actionable Recommendations• Invest on research that helps bridge the knowledgegap in innovations that increase the efficacy of theextension system, employment as well as forcapacity building.• Invest in rainfed agriculture as there is highpotential in these regions.• Increase investment not only in irrigation but alsoin drinking water supply, sanitation, energy, roads,health and education.• Investment alone is not sufficient, improvedinstitution and incentives are necessary• Restructure subsidies that hurt water and foodsecurity
…Actionable Recommendations• Adopt a systems approach and a long termstrategy that provide the framework for anintegrated water resources development andmanagement• Invest in the development of a new legal andinnovative institutional framework to promotedecentralized decision making and managementand increased stakeholder participation.• Give special attention in water and food securitystrategies to dry areas where the majority of foodinsecure populations live.