Knowledge for Development

Relevant publications

The use of participatory processes in wide-scale dissemination of micro dosing and conservation agriculture in Zimbabwe

By: T. Pedzisa; I. Minde; S. Twomlow. Joint 3rd AAAE and 48th AEASA Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, September 19-23, 2010.Participatory technology development has been used for quite some time. However, little is known about how farmers perceive participatory methods and processes. Understanding farmers’ concerns about the participatory process can be an important starting point and can further the ultimate aim of encouraging sustained technology adoption. An ex-post participatory technology development and transfer evaluation was carried out in Zimbabwe in 2006-2007 involving 231 farmers. It was revealed that use of demonstration trials encouraged the most participation and subsequent adoption and adaptation of the technologies to suit specific needs. The participatory nature of the process encouraged greater knowledge sharing among farmers and gave them more confidence in the technology. In order to increase the gains of the participatory process, feedback loops should be built in to allow improvements and modifications to be made to the techniques being promoted.


What is the irrigation potential for Africa? A combined biophysical and socioeconomic approach

This paper analyzes the large, dam-based and small-scale irrigation investment potential in Africa based on agronomic, hydrologic, and economic factors. Area potential for irrigation was assessed with a combined bio-physical and socio-economic analysis and it has been found that significant profitable irrigation potential exists for both small-scale and large-scale systems. This type of regional analysis can guide distribution of investment funds across countries and should be a first step prior to in-depth country- and local-level assessment of irrigation potential, which will be important to agricultural and economic development in Africa. (via Farming First, 19/10/2011).


Ecosystems for water and food security

Boelee, E. (Ed). 2011. Ecosystems for water and food security. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme; Colombo: International Water Management InstituteThis publication, compiled and edited by UNEP and IWMI, illustrates the importance of healthy ecosystems for the provisioning of key services that contribute to food security. This background paper (179p.) provides an overview of the linkages between ecosystems, water, and food security. It explores how to manage water in agro-ecosystem for food security by examining food security and agricultural water use issues from an ecosystem perspective. Recommendations for sound water management in agro-ecosystem include the valuation of ecosystem services, a multifunctional approach to agro-ecosystem management, the adoption of adaptive Integrated Water Resources Management and a stronger policy-based collaboration between sectors. The synthesis report to this background report is also produced.


A comparative analysis of the technical efficiency of rain-fed and smallholder irrigation in Ethiopia

Godswill Makambe et al. 2011. IWMI Working Paper No.143. Most of the agricultural production in Ethiopia is under rain-fed conditions and thus extremely sensitive to rainfall variability. Irrigation development, including smallholder irrigation, is used by the Ethiopian Government to attempt to mitigate the effects of rainfall variability.In this study, the authors look at smallholder irrigation - modern and traditional irrigation systems. A stochastic frontier production function approach is used to estimate technical inefficiency, and constraints to production are analyzed. Since the traditional system is found to be efficient but on a lower production frontier, the study shows that significant gains can be made by raising the frontier of the traditional systems and increasing the efficiency of the modern systems.


The seaweed industry in the Pacific islands

Dennis J. McHugh. 2006. ACIAR Working Paper No. 61.This report indentifies marketing constraints and opportunities for seaweed in selected Pacific island countries, including consideration of options for regional cooperation in marketing and processing. The seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii (formerly Eucheuma cottonii) is used as a source of the hydrocolloidcarrageenan and has been farmed in the Pacific for more than 20 years. It also examines the production, processing, transportation and marketing options for the cultivated Kappaphycus industry in selected countries, with a view to improving profitability and sustainability. The countries selected were Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. This report gives details of the current supply of and demand for Kappaphycus and the reasons for its positive future potential.


Application of ICTs for Climate Change Adaptation in the Water Sector: Developing Country Experiences and Emerging Research Priorities

This publication by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) gathers several reports from developing countries on how ICTs are and can be applied to help communities experiencing water-related stress adapt to climate change. Drawing on current experiences in the field of water management and sustainability, the perspective of the authors is primarily from the ICT for development (ICT4D) sector. The reports should be considered exploratory, offering a fresh perspective to the field of agricultural water security in vulnerable contexts.


Releasing the Pressure: Water Resource Efficiencies and Gains for Ecosystem Services

This report by UNEP and SEI discusses the need to balance short-term water productivity gains, particularly in agriculture, with water flows’ long-term role in maintaining sustainable landscape ecosystem services and supporting human well-being. The report outlines 10 key messages on the nexus of water productivity, water flows in landscapes and ecosystem services, and illustrates them with case studies. It is geared to practitioners in the areas of planning and management of agriculture, planning of land-use, forestry, biofuels, and water, and natural resource management. The goal is to encourage practitioners to begin exploring what types of ecosystem services gains and trade-offs exist in their local context, such as watersheds, landscapes, countries, or basins, and how they may be linked to the allocation of water.(SEI via EcoAgriculture Blog, 28/5/2012)


Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication

Part I ‘Investing in natural capital’ of UNEP’s Green Economy Report has chapters on the following sectors: Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Forests. These chapters offer guidance to policy makers on how to enable the transition to a green economy. (UNEP, 11/2011)


Planting Trees to Eat Fish

This book by Wetland International draws on the experiences of four projects (in Indonesia, Kenya, Zambia/Malawi and Mali) that combined conservation and development goals. The four projects demonstrated – each in a different way – how improving livelihoods and conserving wetlands can go hand in hand. The book tells the story of the problems that the individual projects faced, and how they were addressed. In addition, there is a review of seven other wetland-based projects from around the world. (Wetland International, 5/2009)


Management of run-off recycling systems through multipurpose utilization in humid plateau areas of eastern India

From 1998 to 2001, an evaluation study of a small tank irrigation system was carried out in Bhubaneshwar in Orissa, India, to examine the potential of rainwater harvesting in areas where canal and tubewell irrigation are not feasible for topographical, geological, and hydrological reasons. The system had a catchment area of 3 ha of cultivated terrace (slope 2-3%) and a command area of 0.95 ha. The tank capacity was 1469 m3. The tank was not lined as the seepage losses were around 2 mm/day, which is well within the critical limit of 6 mm/day. A rotational cropping system was adopted with transplanted rice, groundnut, mustard, and watermelon, while the embankment was planted with banana and papaya. The pond was stocked with Labeo rohita, Cirrhinus mrigal, Catla catl,, and Macrobrachium rosenbergii. It was found that the benefit-cost ratio of the field crop alone was 1.89, whereas it increased to 2.27 with horticultural crops on the embankment, and to 2.80 if fish culture is taken up. The benefit-cost ratio could be further increased to 3 by including duck rearing.