Integrated management of rainwater to improve smallholder productivity and livelihoods and reduce risk.

Published on 20 April 2011

Research Areas

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Start Date: 1 August 2010 | End Date: 30 November 2013


The project seeks to define the interplay between market access, crop and livestock technologies, and investment risks in water- and market-scarce environments that leads to technology adoption by farm families, enabling them to enhance food security and incomes through more efficient water use. Three main work areas will contribute to this objective. 

Water efficient farm enterprises and climate risk management

Innovation Platforms will be established at project sites to bring together all role players necessary to increase investments in farm management strategies to improve productivity of crop and livestock systems through improved fodder production. Outputs of the other two work areas will feed into the innovation platform process. The important outcome here is the development of an understanding that increased investments at farm level will have beneficial returns at the market place that compensate for climate-related production risks.

Investment choices matched to farmer capacities and climatic risk environment

Understanding how the capacity of farmers and their ability to make use of new opportunities is affected by their wealth status, investment priorities and variable climate will assist in the design of new and more target-specific crop-livestock management strategies. Through participatory modeling and scenario analysis we can learn together what the impacts of specific interventions are, which farmers can make use of them, and who may adopt them. On-farm testing will substantiate the efficacy of the technologies and the potential for out-scaling.

Market-led technologies for smallholder farmers developed and tested

The project will use market access as the driver of crop and livestock technology uptake. Market development initiatives such as contract farming, voucher-based input distribution schemes for seed and fertilizer and innovative fertilizer marketing strategies will be implemented by project partners, technically supported by research and extension and monitored for impacts across the value chain.



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