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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation

Feed the Future
Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation

March 2020
Solar-powered irrigation in Ethiopia.

Solar-powered irrigation could boost climate resilience of millions

The impacts of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa are severe and have far-reaching consequences for millions of smallholder farmers. Rising temperatures, destructive locust swarms, and increasingly erratic rainfall make it difficult for farmers to grow food and meet basic needs.

Expanding small scale irrigation is emerging as part of the solution. For this year’s World Water Day, we take a closer look at what it will take for even more farmers to get started.

Read more
Testing the Berken plow in Ethiopia. Rudi Schmitter.


Scientists and entrepreneurs battle climate change and water scarcity in the Ethiopian Highlands

Groundwater comes from the ground, right? Wrong. In the face of growing water scarcity, scientists, entrepreneurs, and farmers turn the problem on its head and increase groundwater reserves through improved water and soil management. Read more.
Farmer irrigating his field with a calabash bowl in Mali.

Understanding what is holding back irrigated food production in Mali

In Mali, farmers are highly vulnerable to climate change and variability. Food production is and will continue to be severely limited as long as smallholders do not have access to water for irrigation. Read more.
Woman carrying water and child in Tanzania.

Investigating how gender matters for irrigation and nutrition

"There is interest, including from the private sector, in utilizing strategies to better reach and benefit women through irrigation," said Elizabeth Bryan, who joined ILSSI’s capacity development program for graduate students in 2014. Read more.
IDSS training in Ghana, February 2020.

Building shared skills on tools for managing water across river basins in West Africa

ILSSI’s latest training on its integrated decision support system took place in Ghana in February. Its regional focus will help technical experts across West Africa better coordinate their data collection and analysis. Read more.
Climate change and water in Ethiopia.

Four papers on water and climate change impacts in Ethiopia and Ghana

All four papers present results that suggest needs to put in place measures to adapt to and mitigate risks of plausible climate change. Read more.
Conservation agriculture in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian cuisine’s star ingredient provides clues on how to farm in a climate-change era

Using conservation agriculture practices can increase food production while safeguarding water and soil on farms and across drier, hotter landscapes. Read more.
Solar pumps in Zambia.

Innovative approaches to including gender within agricultural mechanization

While increasing women’s access to agricultural technology is key to their economic empowerment, there is a real challenge in determining how to better include women in agricultural mechanization from the get-go. Read more.
Benefits of small scale irrigation are immense.

Benefits of farmer-led irrigation are “immense”

This update was originally published by ILSSI has become a global leader in generating evidence that can inform investments in support of the U.S. global food security goals. Read more.

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:
Mulugete Ayene/WLE; Rudi Schmitter; Tingju Zhu/IFPRI; Tim Cronin/CIFOR; Abeyou W. Worqlul/ILSSI; Nena Terrell/USAID; Mulugete Ayene/WLE; Adam Ojdahl/IWMI; USAID Tanzania.