Evolution of agricultural water management in rainfed crop-livestock systems of the Volta Basin
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Douxchamps, S., Ayantunde, A. and Barron, J., 2012. Evolution of agricultural water management in rainfed crop-livestock systems of the Volta Basin. CPWF R4D Working Paper Series 04.. Colombo, Sri Lanka: CGIAR Challenge Program for Water and Food (CPWF)
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/21721
This study of the evolution of AWM in the Volta Basin yielded key recommendations for research-for-development interventions and new concepts for research on water management. When promoting AWM strategies, projects should carefully study the available information on factors triggering adoption, and play on these to ensure sustainable uptake of the technology. Local capacities and agendas should be better accounted for when promoting AWM strategies or low-cost irrigation technologies. Participatory management of the water infrastructure should be carefully planned through integration of maintenance costs in project budget, capacity building of actors towards assumption of more responsibility, and ways to deal with turnovers within management committees. Farmers’ capacity building is definitely a key asset for enlightened risk management and constant adaptation to new variable conditions. Future research and development projects should concentrate on how to leverage the factors limiting adoption and enhancing system productivity while maintaining healthy ecosystem services. There is a need for a system perspective, to improve water-crop-livestock interactions, to develop off-season cultivation options and market access, and to balance distribution of gender benefits. There is a need for a multi-scale, landscape perspective, to understand ecological landscape processes and trade-offs between ecosystem services derived from and affected by AWM strategies adoption across different scales. There is a need for an institutional perspective, to facilitate management of AWM structures and to raise awareness. Finally, there is a need for a long-term perspective, to foresee the best strategies for adaptation to climate change and manage risk in the variable environment of the Volta Basin.