How to Support
Expand and improve infrastructure, concentrating on off-takes and main canals.
This can be based on models used by IFAD's smallholder paddy rice irrigation project in semi-arid and marginal areas, and the World Bank's River Basin Management and Smallholder Irrigation Improvement Project (RBMSIIP).
Improve on-farm management and income by enhancing extension services
and offering training in on-farm water management, farming practices, bookkeeping and marketing. Innovative approaches such as practiced by Kilimanjaro Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) show that improving the information given to farmers can lead to yield increases of 30-75%.
Facilitate infrastructure improvements and investment in better farming practices, strengthen micro-credit facilities,
by separating savings and credit cooperative organizations (SACCOs) from the banking system, investing directly in credible SACCOs and enforcing transparent lending terms. A micro-credit organization in Mkindo is experimenting with delayed bulk selling - they give credit at the beginning of the season and farmers repay the debt in bags of paddy. The organization stores the paddy and sells later in the season when prices are higher.
Where to Invest
In Sub Saharan Africa, there is good potential for expansion of community managed river diversions in terms of application area and rural population reached.
The main constraints however,are the limited availability of runoff, and the relatively high cost of investment.
You can find out more about suitable areas for investing in this brief.