V2: Integrated management of rainwater for crop-livestock agroecosystems

Published on 6 December 2011

Research Areas





Start Date: 1 October 2010 | End Date: 31 December 2013


With mixed crop-livestock systems projected to remain the main providers of food (animal and plant) in the coming decades, opportunities exist for smallholders to participate and benefit from emerging crop and livestock markets in the Volta Basin. Given the economic, social and environmental vulnerability due to high water scarcity and variability in the basin, improvements in rainwater management are needed for ensuring sustainable and equitable benefits. This project therefore intends to identify, evaluate, adapt, and disseminate best-fit integrated rainwater management strategies (RMS), targeted to different biophysical and socio-economic domains. The integrated RMS are comprised of technological solutions, directed at different components of the agroecosystems, underpinned by enabling institutional and policy environments and linked to market incentives that can drive adoption. The aim is to increase crop and livestock productivity to result in enhanced livelihoods and positive environmental impacts, through strengthened institutional capacity and improved equitable and gender-sensitive performance of crop and livestock value chains. Building on existing knowledge and based on participatory diagnosis of constraints, opportunities and criteria for success, integrated RMS will be inventoried and prioritized. Through interdisciplinary action research, the effects of selected promising RMS and the enabling environments for them to succeed, will be assessed. Innovation platforms, comprising key actors along the value chain, will be the major mechanism to facilitate the action research and participatory monitoring and learning. Tools and frameworks for integrated analysis of RMS, farming systems, gendered livelihoods and value chains will be developed, tested and adapted. Synthesis of the findings will inform the development of guidelines for integrated and targeted RMS options in specific recommendation domains. Learning alliances around rainwater management involving influential actors at various levels will be formed to facilitate joint learning and experience sharing, in order to support scaling out and up. A wide range of information and communication tools will be used to disseminate the project findings to different stakeholders and to obtain their feedback. Through improved collaboration amongst actors along the value chain, their capacity to access and use relevant knowledge on integrated rainwater management will be enhanced, which will allow them to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities in the context of evolving crop-livestock systems.

Research Partners

  • NARI - National Agricultural Research Institute
  • NGO - international or developed-country based non-governmental institution
  • CRS


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