The six countries studied by the AgWater Solutions Project have their own unique challenges, yet there is much that can be considered common across the regions.
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) faces great challenges in development, including the highest poverty rate in the world, food insecurity, and malnutrition. South Asia (SA), including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, is one of the most populous regions in the world.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economies of SA nations and is the single most important source of livelihood SA and in Africa. In both regions, an agricultural growth strategy will go a long way to reducing hunger and poverty.
Currently, agriculture in SSA is predominantly rain fed. The limited access to water in arid areas or during dry seasons and drought spells restricts farming and hinders the improvement of agricultural productivity.
While parts of SA have experienced considerable agricultural growth in the last half-century, many other regions, including large parts of eastern India and Bangladesh, have lagged behind. Many farmers face water scarcity and the inability to access or control water has a direct impact on agricultural productivity.
Climate variability is now having a serious effect on agricultural production across all the regions studied, and long-term climate change raises concerns about the future feasibility of irrigated agriculture in these regions.
IFPRI have used integrated modelling to help determine the feasibility of the solutions identified through the project across the SSA and SA regions.[note note_color=”#87c900″ text_color=”#ffffff” radius=”10″ class=”GreenQuote alignright”]
These briefs are based on studies that use a modeling system that combines geographic (GIS) data analysis and predictive modeling tools to assess the regional potential for smallholder agricultural water management in Sub-Saharan Africa and SA. They focus on the potential for the expansion across SSA and SA of eight of the water management solutions identified throughout the project. They also include an assessment of the impact of climate change on the application potential of the interventions. The assessment process includes two components: ex-ante GIS and predictive modeling analyses. These analyses use a set of suitability criteria to identify areas where the technology could potentially be applied across the region. The formulation of assessment criteria and the scoring scheme were developed through expert consultations and validation and reflect the best available expert knowledge.[/note]