The case for adopting climate-smart agriculture practices – which can improve productivity, build resilience and reduce emissions – has been underlined by a series of events at the United Nations climate talks in Poland. Via WLE and IWMI.
Across the continent, if you ask smallholders why they have not yet made the switch from unpredictable rainfed cropping to more reliable irrigated production, they most often cite a lack of affordable credit to purchase pumps and other equipment. Study after study has shown that this is the number one barrier, especially for women. Until farmers find a way around it, there is a danger that the emerging revolution in smallholder irrigation could stall.
The Policy Advantage event, part of the larger Agriculture Advantage 2.0 event series at COP24, brought together WLE/IWMI and other diverse perspectives on the policy change needed for food systems transformation.
Raman Parmar, 48, a farmer of Thamna village Gujarat’s Anand district had become the country’s first solar power farmer. By connecting a solar powered irrigation pump to an electricity grid, Raman had received the first payment for his ‘solar crop’ in the form of a cheque of Rs 7,500 from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
Changes to farming systems require managing trade-offs—many of which have not yet been considered, according to IWMI/WLE senior researcher Soumya Balasubramanya in the new Economist report Fixing food 2018: best practices towards the sustainable development goals.
With over 6.5 million shallow tube wells in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh, the Ganga basin is one of the most densely plumbed aquifer systems in the world. More than 80% of farmers depend on these wells. But affordable electricity or solar pumps could wean farmers from canal irrigation, leaving more water to flow in Ganga and its tributaries, without adversely affecting hydropower.
A special ‘Synthesis’ issue that collates research outputs from participating CGIAR centers was one of the key action points discussed at a workshop on Land and Water Solutions (LWS) – Flagship 2 of the CGIAR Research Program Water, Land and Ecosystems.
NDDB with assistance of the Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) have helped these farmers to create their own micro grid which enables them to sell the surplus solar energy produced in their fields to the state-owned power distribution company – the Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL).
Nature based infrastructure was at the forefront of this year's Stockholm World Water Week, and the Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP) special session looked at how we can harness the “green” infrastructure beneath our feet for improved water security and resilience for vulnerable communities.
Across Asia, man-made structures have stood powerless to avert tragedy after tragedy during 2018’s rainy season. Dams are vital for energy needs and economic growth. But they’ve been criticised for posing risks to local communities and the fragile environments in which they are built. WLE and IWMI research proposes several innovative solutions that mitigate the threats of these fragile environments through natural infrastructure.