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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation

Feed the Future
Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation

June 2020
Multi-stakeholder dialogue in Ethiopia. Petra Schmitter.

Private sector joins multi-stakeholder dialogues on farmer-led irrigation development in Ghana and Ethiopia

Private sector companies are increasingly recognized for the roles they can play in agricultural production and value chain development. This is no different when looking at small scale irrigation development, with irrigation supply chains and services being crucial to the resilience of smallholders and the entire food system.

In advance of Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day on June 27, this newsletter delves deeper into the roles of private sector sector actors in expanding the use of small scale irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read more
Close-up of the Berken plow. Rudi Schmitter.


Ethiopian entrepreneur invented new plow that breaks down barriers for small scale irrigation

Melesse Temesgen, General Manager of Aybar Engineering PLC, invented a new plow that can increase the infiltration of rainwater. This new tool can help make more groundwater available for farmers to practice small scale irrigation in the Ethiopian Highlands. Read more.
Habtamu Muche measures water infiltration. Habtamu Muche.

Working with the private sector to find acceptable solutions to farmers’ challenges

“Looking at the Berken plow, we first thought it was a simple modification of the Maresha, with little or no impact. However, we found that the Berken affects several hydrological variables in positive ways.” Read more.

Webinar: Market-based agricultural technology scaling in fragmented markets

In a webinar organized by, ILSSI experts spoke about how weak market conditions are significant barriers to farmers adopting irrigation and increasing vegetable production in Mali. Read more.

Webinar: Accelerating inclusive farmer-led irrigation and reaching scale

Around 500 million farmers generate between 30 and 34 percent of the global food supply, but they rely on unpredictable rain to grow food. ILSSI researchers contributed insights on how to scale farmer-led irrigation. Read more.

Upcoming webinar

Accelerating inclusive farmer-led irrigation sustainably:
A systems approach to reaching scale

Please join us for the second part of the webinar series on farmer-led irrigation development on July 9, 2020, 13:00-14:00 UTC.

Register now.

How to accelerate and scale inclusive water access in Ethiopia

Farmer led means farmers have agency and autonomy over how water is used for irrigated agriculture in their communities. Farmers drive the establishment, improvement, and expansion of irrigated agriculture. Read more on

Are you a small scale irrigation business
in Africa or Asia?

We will be better placed to help you scale your business, if you could fill out this five-minute online survey to help us understand your work. How will you benefit? We may be able to help your company find solutions to your science, implementation, or policy challenges. What’s in it for us? We, along with our partners, aim to better understand scaling challenges, ultimately to help companies, communities, and countries use water more sustainably.

Responses are confidential. Take the survey now.


More publications
USAID logo
This publication was made possible through support provided to the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation through the U.S. Agency for International Development, under the terms of Contract No. AID-OAA-A-13-0005. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Copyright © 2020 Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation, All rights reserved.

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Photo credits, from the top:
Petra Schmitter/IWMI; Rudi Schmitter; Habtamu Muche/University of Gondar; World Vegetable Center; Mulugete Ayene/WLE; Apollo Habtamu/ILRI.