Identifying, testing and scaling small-scale irrigation options for enhanced livestock feed production

Small-scale irrigation is a promising route to dealing with uncertain and poorly distributed rainfall that is an inherent characteristic of farming systems across much of Sub-Saharan Africa. SSI has potential to intensify production and reduce risk thereby allowing farmers the confidence to invest in production of high value crops. Demand for high value crops such as vegetables and livestock products is increasing in response to increasing incomes and urbanization across SSA. Irrigated forages have the potential to support year round dairy production that is otherwise challenging in systems where rainfall and therefore feed production is seasonally distributed. Furthermore irrigated forages can help farmers target seasonal markets for live animals and thus capitalize on market price fluctuations. This activity will explore options for irrigated fodder production for enhanced livestock production in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania. The activity will identify intervention options for particular agro-ecological and market niches. These options will be subject to ex-ante economic assessments using a suite of decision support tools developed by Texas A&M University. Options will be further assessed through community dialogue before field testing and ex-post evaluation. A methodology will be developed for targeting niche interventions to allow better targeting of interventions by the development community.