Agriculture Water Management Solutions

Inc. Ag Water Solutions, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

The Agricultural Water Management Solutions Project (AWM Solutions) has identified a variety of small-holder agricultural water management interventions (AWM Regional Mapping ) that have a high potential to improve the food security and livelihoods of the rural poor in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The study results have now been made available online through the Investment Visualizer tool.

This tool is directed at policymakers and investors in agricultural water management in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to assess the profits, costs, yield improvements, number of (poor) people reached, area expansion, and water use consumption of various smallholder water management options by country and region. Uptake of any of these agricultural water management investments will require capacity building, and locale-specific further assessment. Knowledge intensity and locale-specific further assessments vary by intervention and are largest for small reservoirs and lowest for in situ water harvesting. The analysis underlying the scenarios is based on an integrated modeling system that combines geographic (GIS) data analysis, biophysical and economic predictive modeling, and crop mix optimization tools to assess the regional potential for smallholder agricultural water management across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

An ex-ante GIS analysis uses a set of suitability criteria to identify areas where the technology could potentially be applied, pixel by pixel, across the region based on environmental suitability and labor availability. The results are then further refined through the application of two biophysical and economic predictive modeling tools: the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the model of Dynamic Research Evaluation for Management (DREAM) for a combined agronomic-economic-hydrologic cost-benefit analysis for each crop and technology assessed. Given limited market access in much of sub-Saharan Africa, we simulate local, national and international crop markets for this region, for vegetable, root and cereal crops, respectively.