Unravelling the potential of Farmer led Irrigation Development in Mozambique (FIAD)
Duration: February 2016 – February 2019
Aim: Smallholder led innovation processes in irrigation and agriculture are until now poorly understood even though their contribution to rural and economic development, food security and poverty alleviation in developing countries is substantial. Explorative research in BAGC (Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor) Mozambique suggests that over 100,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture have been developed through dispersed small scale grassroots initiatives and innovations. Most of these projects are not recognized by and/or invisible to the private sector, donors, and governments. In this context, the current project aims to innovatively contribute to a better understanding of the processes, triggers and impacts of these developments infarmer-led irrigated agriculture development (FIAD).
Objective: The main objective of this project is to contribute to the enhancement of smallholders agricultural production, food security and local rural economies by fostering open innovation processes and grassroots entrepreneurship in the informal irrigation sector of rural Mozambique (and beyond).
Method: The co-production of innovative research and assessment methodologies; the identification of key (f)actors that either facilitate and/or constrain these developments and; the development of effective strategies and tools that foster and strengthen the unrealized potentials of smallholder entrepreneurship and their engagement with the private and public sector.
Dutch policy goal: Increased sustainable agricultural production.
Year 1: Farmer-led innovation processes in irrigation are poorly understood and even though more than 100,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture have been developed by Mozambican farmers. The research aims at better understanding the extent and impacts of grassroots-led irrigation development by co-producing research and assessment methodologies and developing strategies and tools to catalyse farmer led-irrigation development. The project has linked-up with the SAFI research program (Studying African Farmer-led Irrigation) led by the University of Manchester, exploring the complementary research lines of both projects in Mozambique, and will jointly present the research first results and conclusions through articles in the panel discussion for the upcoming 5th international conference of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies (IESE) in Maputo. Following the end of the this rainy season, the team has planned fieldtrips by to co-validate the first results and prepare the first trails to co-produce tools to support and catalyse farmer-led irrigation development.