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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation

Feed the Future
Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation

December 2020
Welcome to this special issue newsletter, presenting research results and potential for irrigated fodder production in Ethiopia.

Irrigating fodder crops to improve nutrition for animals and people in Ethiopia

When livestock is fed high-quality fodder, produced with the help of irrigation, they deliver better milk and meat, benefitting the nutritional health of their keepers and consumers.

Read more
Man and woman with solar pump in Ethiopia. Photo: IWMI.


Webinar: Potential and options for irrigated fodder production shared with policymakers and practitioners in Ethiopia

In a recent webinar, scientists presented Ethiopian policymakers and practitioners with promising findings on the potential for irrigated production of livestock fodder, which could help meet important income and nutrition gaps. Read more.
This webinar took place on December 2, 2020, and was organized by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) with support from Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (LSIL) and in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Identifying the best water management practices and technologies for sustainable irrigation in Ethiopia

"Although irrigation could potentially boost the production of livestock fodder, this practice is not yet common in Ethiopia," says former student Desalegn Tegegne. Read more.
This farmer is an outgrower working with Mashood Dori of Dori Enterprise outside of the city Wa in northern Ghana. Photo: Brian Conklin/USAID.

Irrigation helps Ethiopian women make more of milk and other dairy products

In case you missed it, revisit this story on how Ethiopian women are growing irrigated fodder crops to expand their opportunities in the dairy value chain, winning income, health, and climate benefits. Read more.

New paper: Analysis of stakeholders' roles and relationships in the feed value chain in Ethiopia

The dominant factor affecting livestock productivity in Ethiopia is shortage of feed. A newly published paper from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) helps to fill the gap in understanding key stakeholders in feed value chains and their roles, including in feed supply, processing and marketing. This study, which was carried out in Ethiopia’s Amhara and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region, examined stakeholder roles and relationships as well as the implications of these on the development of feed value chains in the country. Findings suggest very significant scope for improving the sustainable production of animal feed, and this paper offers suggestions on strategies from farm to market and at policy levels. Read more.

Better feed, more income, zero pesticide

Video by ILRI

Charting COVID-19’s impact on rural women

USAID’s response to COVID-19 has included efforts to assess the pandemic’s impact on rural women. Building on an intra-household survey previously conducted by ILSSI, USAID – through the Gender, Climate Change, and Nutrition Integration Initiative (GCAN) – has carried out a phone survey with 543 households in northern Ghana. Men and women were asked about the pandemic’s effect on their incomes, food security, and intra-household decision making. Preliminary conclusions show that the welfare of these households has been severely compromised. A series of coping mechanisms, such as access to water for domestic uses, were assessed, and a future paper will examine the role of irrigation in coping with the income shocks caused by the pandemic. The results of the first round of the phone survey can be found here.

Seeking consultant to facilitate NetMap workshops in Mali

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a partner of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI), is seeking a consultant to act as a facilitator for 1-2 stakeholder mapping workshops to be held in Mali in early 2021. Apply now.
Groundwater Ghana. Photo: Alex Fassio/CIFOR.

Consultant for scoping activity for using groundwater games in Ghana

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) are seeking a consultant for improving community groundwater governance in Ghana through behavioral games. Apply now.

IASC 2021 Water Commons Virtual Conference

May 19-21, 2021
This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners on the water commons broadly understood. The call for individual presentations, special sessions, webinar panel discussions, and methods workshops is open.
Submit abstracts.
Solar irrigation. Photo: PEG Ghana.

How connecting innovators and implementers can catalyze solar irrigation scaling in Ghana

Solar power has the potential to revolutionize water use in agriculture, providing an attractive means for farmers to irrigate their crops. Read more.
Farmers with solar pump. Photo: Mulugeta Ayene/WLE.

More than money: Stakeholders look beyond financing to expand farmer-led irrigation

Farmer-led irrigation can substantially increase the reliability, quality, and yields of agricultural produce, which leads to an increase in incomes and a reduction in poverty. Read more.



Contribute to special issue and policy notes on water and nutrition

The Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) working group on water and nutrition, which has drawn a lot of foundational insights from ILSSI research, is developing a special issue and series of policy notes on the roles of water security for nutrition and vice versa. There is new urgency to secure water, food, and nutrition security for all, particularly in light of societal shocks such as COVID-19 and growing pressures from climate change. We also need to address the complexity of water, nutrition, and health, at multiple scales, and contribute to the current state of science on these interlinkages. For those interested in contributing to the special issue, please contact Jennie Barron (jennie.barron[at]; those interested in contributing to the policy notes, please contact Claudia Ringler (c.ringler[at]
More publications
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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: Apollo Habtamu/ILRI; IWMI; Desalegn Tegegne; Brian Conklin/USAID; NetMap; Alex Fassio/CIFOR; PEG Africa; Mulugeta Ayene/WLE.