Conférence scientifique “La coopération franco-allemande en Afrique, dans les domaines du changement climatique”

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WASCAL at Global Development Conference

WASCAL students were extremely well represented at this year’s prestigious annual Global Development Conference of Global Development Network (GDN) in Casablanca.
In the highly competitive selection process four WASCAL Students and recent Post Docs from the WASCAL Doctoral Program Climate Change Economics at Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar) made it through the selection and participated in the climate change session. Owodon Afo-Loko (Togo), Aboubakr Gambo Boukary (Niger), Boris Lokonon (Benin), Mikemina Pilo (Togo) were among only 5% of applicants, who were selected and invited for speaker or poster presentations.

Germany invests € 50 million into WASCAL

Germany is investing € 50 million into the West African Science Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL).

The investment is to enable WASCAL develop it basic infrastructure as it seeks to fulfil its mission of training climate change researchers.

Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said this during the West African Ministers of WASCAL Conference in Accra on Monday.

He said climate change is an all-encompassing threat that is destroying livelihoods and affecting many across the globe.

“It is a threat to the world’s supply of fresh water, our source of life and threat to the world’s food supply as rising temperatures and prolonged draught renders fertile areas unfit for grazing or crops,” the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central said.

Mr Ayariga said the offer by the Germany to assist West African States with the establishment of a Climate Change Service Centre to support regional efforts in combating climate change is timely.

He said the study of climate change science requires enormous investment that may not be economical for one country alone to undertake.

Mr Ayariga said the establishment of WASCAL is necessary to harness regional efforts for the collective benefit as it would help find solutions and answers to the major questions pervading in the field of climate change and sustainable land use.

Mr Ayariga said through the graduate programmes of WASCAL, Ghana would be able to close its large deficit in the training of highly skilled experts capable of facing the scientific challenges of climate change.

Mr Ruediger John, German Ambassador, said Germany is committed to ensure that West African countries are prepared to combat the issues of climate change.

WASCAL was created in 2012 by the 10 West African States namely Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Togo and Senegal.

Germany invests €50m into West African Science Centre on Climate Change

Germany is investing €50 million into the West African Science Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL).

The investment is to enable WASCAL develop it basic infrastructure as it seeks to fulfil its mission of training climate change researchers.

Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said this during the West African Ministers of WASCAL Conference in Accra on Monday.

He said climate change is an all-encompassing threat that is destroying livelihoods and affecting many across the globe.

“It is a threat to the world’s supply of fresh water, our source of life and threat to the world’s food supply as rising temperatures and prolonged draught renders fertile areas unfit for grazing or crops,” the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central said.

Mr Ayariga said the offer by the Germany to assist West African States with the establishment of a Climate Change Service Centre to support regional efforts in combating climate change is timely.

He said the study of climate change science requires enormous investment that may not be economical for one country alone to undertake.

Mr Ayariga said the establishment of WASCAL is necessary to harness regional efforts for the collective benefit as it would help find solutions and answers to the major questions pervading in the field of climate change and sustainable land use.

Mr Ayariga said through the graduate programmes of WASCAL, Ghana would be able to close its large deficit in the training of highly skilled experts capable of facing the scientific challenges of climate change.

Mr Ruediger John, German Ambassador, said Germany is committed to ensure that West African countries are prepared to combat the issues of climate change.

WASCAL was created in 2012 by the 10 West African States namely Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Togo and Senegal.

Source: GNA

Farmers’ innovation contest focal point of Innovation Fair in Burkina Faso

May 21, 2015.

Six farmers from Ghana who have won the WASCAL Innovation Contest over the past three years were given the opportunity to present their agricultural farmer innovations at the Farmer Innovation Fair for West Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa, on May 15-16, 2015.

In addition to the six farmers from Ghana farmers from other West African countries such as Mali, Senegal, Niger, Benin, Togo, Cameroon and Burkina Faso attended the fair. The farmer innovations included institutional, technological (such as in production, processing, treatment of animal diseases and storage), and marketing innovations.

Action at the fair

“The fair attracted a lot of interest and we had politicians, practitioners, researchers, students and farmers visit our stand. It was inspiring and created an optimal environment for networking and the exchange of ideas” says Dr. Tobias Wünscher, senior researcher at ZEF and coordinator of the WASCAL innovation contest. “Our materials on display were in high demand and our innovators even entered into business negotiations in some cases” adds Zimi Alhassan, project partner at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana (MOFA), who joined the fair together with six other partner representatives from NABOCADO, CSIR-SARI and CSIR-ARI.

The Innovation Fair was organized by Prolinova, Inades (Burkina Faso formation) and Réseau MARP. It received funding, among others, from Misereor, the Foundation McKnight and CCAFS (Research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security).

Background

The Farmer Innovation Contest has the following objectives:
1. Identify farmer innovations; 2. Evaluate them, and communicate the best ones to other farmers; 3. Test the impact of the contest on farmers‘ innovative behavior.
Development research commonly expects farming innovations to be generated by universities and research organizations. The innovation potential of farmers is often ignored but should rather be the focus of our work. The advantage of locally generated innovations is that they have been developed under real conditions and constraints and are locally adapted. Therefore, the dissemination potential can be high.

Farmer Innovation Contest facts & figures:

The contest is being announced to farmers through the Ministry of Food & Agriculture (MOFA) and radio channels.
Farmers in Upper East Ghana send in applications with their innovations.
A local committee selects winners.
Winners receive awards, e.g. water pumps, motorbikes, roofing sheets.
So far three contest rounds (2012, 2013, 2014) have taken place. Round 4 is in preparation.
Total of eligible applications by 2014: 222.
Number of winning farmers: six (two per year).
Local partners: MOFA, NABOCADO, CSIR-SARI, CSIR-ARI, farmers.

You can learn more about the award-winning innovations and their master minds by having a look at the posters of:

Joseph Abarike Azuman, Abdul Abbieli Ramani and Hatia Fati Zangina
Abdul Ramani Abbieli and Bukari Hassan
John Akugre and Nmaa Nso

Farmers’ innovation contest focal point of Innovation Fair in Burkina Faso

Six farmers from Ghana who have won the WASCAL Innovation Contest over the past three years were given the opportunity to present their agricultural farmer innovations at the Farmer Innovation Fair for West Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa, on May 15-16, 2015.

In addition to the six farmers from Ghana farmers from other West African countries such as Mali, Senegal, Niger, Benin, Togo, Cameroon and Burkina Faso attended the fair. The farmer innovations included institutional, technological (such as in production, processing, treatment of animal diseases and storage), and marketing innovations.

Action at the fair

“The fair attracted a lot of interest and we had politicians, practitioners, researchers, students and farmers visit our stand. It was inspiring and created an optimal environment for networking and the exchange of ideas” says Dr. Tobias Wünscher, senior researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and coordinator of the WASCAL innovation contest. “Our materials on display were in high demand and our innovators even entered into business negotiations in some cases” adds Zimi Alhassan, project partner at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana (MOFA), who joined the fair together with six other partner representatives from NABOCADO, CSIR-SARI and CSIR-ARI.

The Innovation Fair was organized by Prolinova, Inades (Burkina Faso formation) and Réseau MARP. It received funding, among others, from Misereor, the Foundation McKnight and CCAFS (Research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security).

Background

The Farmer Innovation Contest has the following objectives:

1. Identify farmer innovations; 2. Evaluate them, and communicate the best ones to other farmers; 3. Test the impact of the contest on farmers‘ innovative behavior.

Development research commonly expects farming innovations to be generated by universities and research organizations. The innovation potential of farmers is often ignored but should rather be the focus of our work. The advantage of locally generated innovations is that they have been developed under real conditions and constraints and are locally adapted. Therefore, the dissemination potential can be high.

Farmer Innovation Contest facts & figures:

The contest is being announced to farmers through the Ministry of Food & Agriculture (MOFA) and radio channels.
Farmers in Upper East Ghana send in applications with their innovations.
A local committee selects winners.
Winners receive awards, e.g. water pumps, motorbikes, roofing sheets.
So far three contest rounds (2012, 2013, 2014) have taken place. Round 4 is in preparation.
Total of eligible applications by 2014: 222.
Number of winning farmers: six (two per year).
Local partners: MOFA, NABOCADO, CSIR-SARI, CSIR-ARI, farmers.

How FUT Minna produced first WASCAL graduates

On the 13th October 2014, the Federal University of Technology in Minna, Niger State graduated its first set of students under the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) Management programme. The institution operates the Master of Technology in Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (CC&ALU) course.
Director of the FUT Minna Masters Programme on CC&ALU at the WASCAL centre, Dr Appollonia Okhimamhe, said that this makes the Ivory Tower, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Musbau Akanji, to be the first host university to graduate WASCAL students on schedule – within a period of 24 months.

The students are: Ochuware Akpeokhai, Andrew Adenle (both Nigeria), Enoch Bessah, Emmanuel Nyadzi (both Ghana), Ebrimma Sonko (The Gambi), Sophie Kima (Burkina Faso), Pelagie Dah-Gbate (Benin), Bello Garba (Niger), Karamoko Sango (Mali) and Akamah Abel (Togo).

She added that the graduation ceremony also featured the commissioning of the WASCAL CC&ALU building, located in the Gidan Kwano Campus of the university, where Prof Akanji and his team of Principal Officers received guests such as the Minister of Environment (represented by Dr Samuel Adejuwon, Director of Climate Change Department in the Ministry), German Ambassador to Nigeria (represented by Mr Dirk Schulz); Chairman of WASCAL Board (Prof Haidara), WASCAL Board member representing Nigeria and Second Vice Chairman (Prof Adeniyi Osuntogun), as well as Executive Director and his team (Dr Sedogo, Ouattara and Mr Ofori).
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Okhimamhe, an Associate Professor of Geography (Remote and Sensing Applications), listed other guest at the event to include: Vice Chancellor of FUTA represented by Prof Bayo Omotosho (who heads the WASCAL Centre at the Federal University of Technology, Akure); representatives of our two German Partner Universities (Dr Michael Thiel and Mrs Mini Boutros, who is also the GRP/MRP Coordinator of WASCAL); members of WASCAL CC&ALU International Regional Advisory Board comprising Prof Bayo Omotosho, Dr Eric Forkuo (representing KNUST), Dr Georges Abbey (representing University of Lome), Mrs Christine K (from HBF representing the Civil Society) and Dr Adejuwon (representing Focal Ministry); members of FUT Minna Advisory Board led by the Dean of Postgraduate School, Prof (Mrs) Stella Zubairu; as well as staff and students of WASCAL.
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“The graduating students also showcased their research in a poster exhibition that was declared open after the WASCAL CC&ALU building was commissioned,” disclosed Okhimamhe, even as she poured encomiums on the German Ministry of Education and Research “for approving approximately 1.05 million Euros as students scholarship, tuition fees, research grant, honorarium to participating faculty, as well as for the construction of CC&ALU building, provision of equipment, books, furniture, 12-seater executive bus, among others.”

Her words: “We also thank the Federal Ministry of Environment for the recognition granted to the university by selecting us to represent Nigeria; and for signing the Cooperation Agreement that made FUT Minna a legitimate member of WASCAL Network of Universities.”

She recalled that, for over two years (from January 2010 to February 2012), FUT Minna participated in the preparatory activities of WASCAL, an initiative on climate change capacity building, which is a collaboration involving 11 countries – Germany (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and 10 West African countries namely: Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Cote d’ Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, The Gambia and Senegal.
ALSO READ: World needs to prepare for extreme weather even if Paris goals are met

The programme covers three major activities: Graduate Research Programme, Competence Centre and Research Component, and Nigeria is involved fully in the Graduate Research Programme being the only country with both a Doctoral and Master degree programmes.

WASCAL is overseen by a Council of Ministers chaired by Ghana with the involvement of ECOWAS as observer, a Governing Board and an Executive Director, whose office is based in the headquarters in Accra, Ghana. The implementation of the programme is guided by a Cooperation Agreement and Constitution signed by the 10 ministers of the focal ministries in charge of either Environment (as the case may be in Nigeria and Ghana) or Higher Education and Research (in most of the Francophone countries) in a ceremony organised in February 2012 in Lome, Togo.

“It is a novel approach to capacity building in Africa and the host universities,” stressed Okhimamhe.

On Monday, March 23, 2015 the Federal University of Akure in Ondo State passed out its first set of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students under the programme.

Focus on Young Researchers: Farmer Innovation in Rural Ghana: Determinants, Impacts and Identification

Why were you interested in farmer innovations, and what exactly have you been looking at?

My PhD research was on the identification, determinants and welfare impacts of farmer innovation in rural Ghana. Research institutions have developed numerous technologies that are being disseminated to farmers for adoption. However, many smallholders do not adopt these technologies due to, inter alia, lack of accessibility, high costs, and inappropriateness of the technologies for their local conditions. Some farmers are very creative and have developed their own locally-adapted innovations to address the challenges they face. However, if you look at the agricultural innovation literature, most of the studies focus on the externally-driven innovations developed by researchers, while those developed by farmers are often neglected or under-valued. So my research, in contrast to existing studies, looks at famer innovations. I examined if farmer innovations can also play a role in the livelihoods of rural farm households, and how to build the capacity of farmers to generate more innovations.

Where in Ghana did you do your research and how long did you stay there?

I conducted my field research in the Upper East region of Ghana from August 2012 to May 2013.

The field research was carried out in the Upper East region – partly because it is one of the selected areas for the implementation of the Core Research Program of WASCAL. Moreover, Upper East is a rural region with high population density, low food security, limited infrastructural services and increasing challenges such as climate change and soil infertility, and such a challenging environment is where one expects to find many local innovations.

The first part of my research involves identification of promising innovations developed by farmers. To identify the innovations, I assisted my tutor, Dr. Tobias Wünscher who was implementing an innovation contest throughout the region between August and November 2012. In the contest, farmers competed for prizes by presenting their independently developed innovations. The top three innovators were awarded prizes during the National Farmers Day celebration. I also collected survey data from 409 farm households in three districts (Kassena Nankana East, Kassena Nankana West and Bongo) in the region. This data was used in analysing the drivers and impacts of farmer innovations.
How are farmer innovations related to climate change?

Most of the identified farmer innovations are yield-related, but these innovations are locally adapted and help to cushion the effects of climate change. Some farmer innovations also emerge in response to environmental shocks. One of the main findings of my study is that farmers who develop innovations are more resilient to climate shocks than non-innovators.

What makes farmers innovate and how do farmer innovations contribute (or not) to household welfare?

Farmers innovate out of curiosity or coincidence or the need to increase production and solve problems. I also found that a Farmer Field Fora (FFF) program, which is being implemented by the Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, helps to build the capacity of farmers to innovate. The FFF is a platform for innovation and mutual learning among agricultural stakeholders, particularly farmers, extension agents and researchers. I analyzed the effect of farmer innovations on a number of household welfare indicators, and I found that farmer innovations play an essential role in the livelihoods of farm households. For instance, I found that farmer innovations significantly improve the income and consumption expenditure of the innovators. The innovations also contribute significantly to the reduction of food insecurity among the innovative households by increasing food consumption expenditure, and by reducing the length of the hungry season.

What were your most exciting findings?

Among the most interesting findings of my research is that farmers do not only adopt but also generate innovations. Farmer innovations may emerge by coincidence, but it can also be stimulated through capacity building programs such as the FFF. Also, farmer innovations can complement the innovations developed by public and private research institutions in addressing the challenges farmers face and in reducing rural poverty. Finally, the opportunity to win prizes through a contest can serve as an incentive for farmers to reveal their innovations instead of keeping them in secrecy.
How and when did you start your doctoral studies at the Center of Development Research (ZEF) in the WASCAL Research Program?

I started searching for PhD opportunities soon after completing my Master studies at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. I applied to a vacancy announcement by Dr. Tobias Wünscher, who was searching for a PhD student to work on local innovations within the WASCAL program at ZEF. I was in Bonn to participate in the “Tropentag” 2011 conference, and I visited ZEF after the conference, where I met Dr. Wünscher and was invited for an impromptu interview. I later had a phone interview with Prof. Joachim von Braun and was then offered the position, which I gladly accepted.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for funding my PhD studies at ZEF through the WASCAL program. I am also grateful to my supervisor, Prof. Joachim von Braun for guiding me in my research and to my tutor, Dr. Tobias Wünscher for his help in bringing my thesis to fruition.
Background

Justice conducted his research in the WASCAL work package 3.3 on Farmer’s Perceptions, led by Dr. Tobias Wünscher. He successfully defended his thesis on May 5, 2015. He has since been working as a senior researcher at ZEF within WASCAL. He succeeded Dr. Marc Müller, who started working with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.
Related publications:

Tambo, Justice A. and Tobias Wünscher 2014. Identification and prioritization of farmers’ innovations in northern Ghana. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, available on CJO2014. doi:10.1017/S1742170514000374

Related topics

Contact: Justice Tambo, tambojustice(at)yahoo.com

Nine new graduates at the Doctoral Program Climate Change and Land Use

The students coming from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Niger and Nigeria had their Oral Examination on 16th, 17th and 24th April, 2015, at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.

Djidjooh Mathieu Maurice AHOUANSOU: Hydrological Ecosystem Services under Climate Change and Land Use Changes in West Africa: Case study of semi-arid Water Shed, North Benin. Supervisors: Prof. Sampson K. Agodzo and Dr. Luc. O.C. Sintondji. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Lucette AKPA: Impact of Cashew Expansion on Land Use/ Land Cover Change and Carbon Stocks in the Forest-Savanna Transition Zone of North-East Cote d’Ivoire. Supervisors: Dr. Kyere Boateng, Dr. Dibi N’Da Hyppolite. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Laouali Mahamadou AMADOU: Simulating Agricultural Land-Use adaptation under the changing climate using Multi-Agent System in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Supervisors: Prof. Nicholas Kyei-Baffour, Dr. Emmanuel Morgan Attua. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Bernard BAATUUWIE: Multi-Dimensional Approach for Evaluating Land Degradation in the Savannah Belt of the White Volta Basin. Supervisors: Dr. Quang Bao Le, Dr. Wilson Agyei Agyare. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Biola Kazeem BADMOS: Multi-Agent Simulation Approach on the impact of Agricultural Land-Use Change Adaptation towards the effect of Changing Climate in Semi-Arid Ghana. Supervisors: Prof. Sampson K. Agodzo, Prof. Samuel Nii Odai. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Boundia THIOMBIANO: Exploring soil nutrient management and production performances to support building smallholder farms’ resilience to climate change: Case of South Western Burkina Faso. Supervisors: Dr. Quang Bao Le, Prof. Samuel Nii Odai, Dr. Denis Ouedraogo. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Demba TRAWALLY: Modelling heat stress and the impact of climate change on maize yield and biomass in Northern Region of Ghana. Supervisors: Dr. Wilson Agyei Agyare, Dr. Thomas Gaiser, Dr. Mathias Fosu. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Nat Prempeh OWUSU: Soil respiration across predominant land uses in the Vea catchment in the Sudan Savannah zone, North East of Ghana. Supervisors: Dr. Leonard K. Amekudzi, Dr. Kyere Boateng. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Souleymane Sidi TRAORE: Long-term vegetation Dynamics over the Bani River’s Basin as Impacted by Climate Change and Land Use. Supervisors: Prof. Eric Kwabena Forkuo, Dr. Tobias Landmann. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Contact:

Prof. Samuel Odai
Department of Agricultural Engineering
KNUST
Kumasi, Ghana
Email: snodai(at)yahoo.com

Can commercial cellphone providers help to gather high quality rainfall information?

The knowledge of spatio-temporal distribution of precipitation is of crucial importance for the scientific understanding of the regional hydrological cycle and for sustainable water management. High quality rainfall information is the prerequisite for e.g. decision making in agriculture, the operation of hydroelectric power production and also urban flash flood warning. Installation- and maintenance costs in combination with limited financial abilities make it more and more difficult for national meteorological and hydrological services to provide precipitation information in requested high spatial and temporal resolution on a country wide scale, particularly in West Africa.

It is the microwave links operated by commercial cellphone providers that may allow now for highly valuable complementary precipitation information: the attenuation occurring between emitted and received power at the link antennas highly correlates with precipitation intensity along the link-paths. Advantage is that the technical infrastructure, i.e. the MW-link network, is already in operation and maintained by the companies. While data retrieval techniques and respective algorithm development has proceeded in Europe and the Near East in the last years, great potential is particularly seen in the general data scarce region of West Africa. WASCAL has now co-sponsored and organized a 4-day workshop in Ouagadougou on this technique, jointly with experts from the University of Ouagadougou, Germany (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and University of Augsburg), France (IRD and GET), The Netherlands (University of Wageningen and KNMI), Israel (Tel Aviv University), and Switzerland (EAWAG), forming jointly the Raincell Africa initiative.

87 students, scientists and met service representatives from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Benin, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Togo, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon and the US followed the scientific presentations of the international experts and a 2 day training course offered by the experts from KIT, University of Wageningen and KNMI. Topics included the physics of microwave attenuation, the detection of wet and dry periods under a noisy received signal level, and the explicit rain rate estimation. Further focus was set on the effect of wet antennas and the spatial interpolation of individual link information. Algorithms were based on two public domain and open source programming languages, namely Python and R. It is particularly the use of these free open source software environments that can foster a wide distribution and application of the tools at West African universities, research institutes, met services or climate service centers like WASCAL. First MW-link attenuation data were already made available from TELECEL to the University of Ouagadougou. Representatives of the participating cellphone company TELMOB/ONATEL started now to elaborate further steps jointly with WASCAL and the University of Ouagadougou to realize an automatic and even countrywide data access, -analysis and -use.

Prof. Dr. Harald Kunstmann and Dr. Boubacar Barry, WASCAL, organizing committee of the Raincell Africa Workshop.

New Project: “Invest in Water”

An array of agricultural water management (AWM) and resource recovery & reuse (RRR) solutions have been proposed in the Volta and Niger River basins. These aim to improve agricultural productivity in different ways. They focus on various points along the transition between rural and urban landscapes, or between rainfed and irrigated farming. But are all these solutions effective and if so, how effective are they? Which solution should one choose in a certain context as the most appropriate for success? To answer these and more questions the project will assess the potential for wider use of agricultural water management and resource recovery & reuse solutions in the Volta and Niger river basins.

Researchers are specifically examining four topics: 1.) small water infrastructure for small holder irrigation, 2.) drip irrigation, 3.) safe and productive waste water reuse, and 4.) nutrient and organic matter recovery from waste. They are analyzing the social, economic and environmental effects of these interventions – alone and in combination – in the landscape. To achieve this they are mapping ecosystem services, assessing their benefits and trade-offs and examining business opportunities and gender and equity issues. Researchers will be working with, and supporting, up to twelve masters students, from Ghana and Burkina Faso, who are contributing to the project.

WASCAL’s focus and contribution within the Project will be to evaluate the actual or potential effects of the four selected AWM and RRR interventions in the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (ESS) in Burkina Faso and Ghana.

The project aims are to improve productivity, food security, livelihoods and environmental health. Producing RRR and AWM investment guides, policy briefs, technical reports and by conducting a variety of workshops, training and other key stakeholder engagement activities, researchers will:

Enable potential investors (farmers, donors, NGOs and the private sector) to better target AWM and RRR investments and other initiatives.
Provide evidence-based guidance to government agencies to help inform policy formulation on sustainable AWM and RRR interventions.
Build local capacity among government institutions, MSc students and others.
Foster increased public-private partnerships (PPP) and investments in sustainable AWM and RRR interventions.
Improve adoption rates of these solutions, especially by women, by providing gender-differentiated analysis and identifying opportunities to overcome gender-specific adoption barriers.

The Supporting Investment Decisions in Water and Land Management Across the Rural-Urban Continuum in the Volta – Niger Focal Region project aims to offer recommendations on what to use where, provide indications of business focused feasibility and identify successful strategies for expanding the use and benefits of these solutions. The project is one of six research projects under the Volta-Niger Focal Region of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) and will be funded for two years with about 700.000 USD. WLE is a global research program promoting a new integrated approach to sustainable intensification.

Main Funding Partners:

CGIAR Research Program on Water Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

Main Cooperation Partners:

IWMI – International Water Management Institute, Accra, Ghana
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)
iDE BurkinaFaso
Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Republic of Ghana (Women in Agricultural Development )
WASCAL – West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use

Contact

William M. Fonta, PhD

Senior Economist

WASCAL Competence Center

Off Tel: +226 50375423

Cell: +226 64429239

Email: fonta.w(at)wascal.org