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Improving Agriculture Water Management in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges


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Presented by IWMI's Ian Makin (Lead Specialist – Revitalizing Irrigation) at the 4th African Regional Conference on Irrigation and Drainage (ARCID), on April 27 in Cairo, Egypt.

Presented as the keynote presentation of the first plenary session (Tools and techniques for improving land and water productivity - I) at the side-event on "Improving Salt and Water Management in the Nile Delta", session 2:

Published in: Environment
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Improving Agriculture Water Management in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges

  1. 1. IMPROVING AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT IN AFRICA Opportunities and Challenges Ian W Makin Vice President (ICID) Lead Specialist - Irrigation (IWMI) 1 4th African Regional Conference, Aswan - 26 April 2016
  2. 2. OVERVIEW • Issues • Agricultural Water Management • Challenges • Opportunities • Conclusions
  3. 3. Issues
  4. 4. CORE ISSUES – AGRA AND WORLD BANK PRESS RELEASE (APRIL 2016) • One in four Africans is hungry, and every one African child in three is stunted. Food demand will rise by at least 20 percent globally over the next 15 years with the largest increases projected in Sub-Saharan Africa. • Food production in Sub-Saharan Africa will need to increase by about 60 percent. AGRA’s goal is to double yields and incomes for 30 million farming households across Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and World Bank Agriculture Global Practice press release transformation (Accessed 20 April 2016)
  5. 5. AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT IN SSA • Less than 4% of cultivated land is irrigated • Average agricultural withdrawals are 3% of renewable water resources and groundwater use is < 20% of renewable supplies • CAADP Pillar 1 aims to extend land under SLM and reliable water control systems by 20 million ha by 2015 (target not achieved).
  6. 6. Why is AWM important. • Growing population – changing diets • Rural:Urban transition – increasing food and energy demands, rural labour shortages • Falling contribution of agriculture to employment and GDP • Changing role of agriculture in many HH livelihoods (out- migration, changing roles of women) • Agriculture is largest user and consumer of H2O; climate change • Multiple and Competing uses of water 6
  7. 7. Agricultural Water Management
  8. 8. Agricultural Water management Purely Rainfed Production Fully Irrigated
  9. 9. Different farmers have different needs 9 • Improving AWM will impact the rural community – not just farmers –support for transformation must include increasing off-farm employment. Farm Size Farmer orientation Subsistence Semi-commercial Commercial Small XXX X X Medium XXX XX Large XX XXX
  10. 10. ABCDE+F Framework for analysis of water management (Perry. 2013): A. Accounting for the available resources B. Bargaining through political process to determine priorities and allocations C. Codification of the agreed priorities and allocations into rules, statutes and laws D. Delegation of implementation to appropriate institutions and agencies E. Engineering to create the necessary infrastructure to deliver the agreed services F. Feedback or the cycle of policy and performance adjustment for elements A to E.
  11. 11. Challenges
  12. 12. CURRENT CHALLENGES IN SSA • Underperformance in both rain-fed and irrigated systems • Low investment in hydraulic infrastructure and in the development and management of water resources • Inappropriate governance and institutional arrangements in public irrigation schemes • Impact of climate change on water resources • Inadequate investment in irrigation R&D, CapDev, data collection, analysis and dissemination to guide decision making.
  13. 13. Opportunities
  14. 14. Small-Scale Irrigation: A thriving but overlooked sector with large potential • In many SSA countries reaches more farmers than public irrigation • Significant income boost in the dry season • Significant farmer demand and own investment Source of images: IWMI/IFPRI/SUA. Source: IWMI (2012).
  15. 15. OPPORTUNITIES FOR AWM IN SSA • Under-developed and Underutilized water resources • Huge potential for expansion of area under irrigation • Increased demand for high value products responsive to irrigation • Renewed public and donor interest in irrigation • Investors acknowledgement of need for R4D evidence to guide irrigation investment • Commitment of African governments to SDGs.
  16. 16. Conclusions
  17. 17. 19 Key message Improving agricultural water management requires: • Capacity at fields, farms, agencies, suppliers, and ministries; • Technologies to improve operation of pumps, canals and drains; • Enhanced management of agricultural water management support services • Leadership and integrated actions
  18. 18. IRRIGATION IN AFRICA INITIATIVE - IWMI • From 2016 IWMI is committing additional resources to develop and support improved AWM in Africa • Objective is to assist SSA countries to achieve SDGs aimed at ending hunger and poverty and promoting sustainable agriculture • Capitalizing on IWMI’s three decades of research into methods and tools to support and guide public and private sector investments in irrigation • Provide evidence of the performance and value of irrigated agricultural systems in SSA Sustainable Irrigation Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SIGiSSA)
  19. 19. Thank You Ian W Makin 21