Volta Basin Development Challenge: integrated management of rainwater for crop-livestock agro-ecosystems

Mixed crop-livestock systems are projected to remain the main providers of food in the coming decades. This means that opportunities exist for smallholders to participate and benefit from emerging crop and livestock markets in the Volta Basin.

Given the economic, social and environmental vulnerability due to high water scarcity and variability in the basin, improvements in rainwater management are needed for ensuring sustainable and equitable benefits. This project intends to identify, evaluate, adapt, and disseminate best-fit integrated rainwater management strategies, targeted to different biophysical and socio-economic domains. These strategies are comprised of technological solutions, directed at different components of the agro ecosystems, underpinned by enabling institutional and policy environments and linked to market incentives that can drive adoption. The aim is to increase crop and livestock productivity to result in enhanced livelihoods and positive environmental impacts. This will be achieved through strengthened institutional capacity and improved equitable and gender-sensitive performance of crop and livestock value chains. Building on existing knowledge, particularly from CPWF Phase 1 Volta projects and based on participatory diagnosis of constraints, opportunities and criteria for success, integrated rain water management strategies will be inventoried and prioritized. Through interdisciplinary action research, the effects of selected promising RMS and the enabling environments for them to succeed will be assessed. Innovation platforms, built around key crop-livestock value chains and at various, but connected hierarchic levels, will be the major mechanism to facilitate the action research; participatory monitoring and learning and; scaling up and out. Tools and frameworks for integrated analysis of rainwater management strategies, farming systems, gendered livelihoods and value chains will be developed, tested and adapted. Synthesis of the findings will inform the development of guidelines for integrated and targeted rainwater management strategies options in specific recommendation domains. A wide range of information and communication tools will be used to disseminate the project findings to different stakeholders and to obtain their feedback. Through improved collaboration amongst actors along the value chain, their capacity to access and use relevant knowledge on integrated rainwater management will be enhanced, which will allow them to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities in the context of evolving crop-livestock systems. OBJECTIVES

  • Improving rainwater and small reservoir management in Burkina Faso and Northern Ghana to contribute to poverty reduction and improved livelihoods resilience while taking account of downstream and upstream water users including ecosystem services.
  • This project will identify and assess the effects and institutional requirements of best-fit rainwater management strategies (RMS) in mixed crop-livestock agro ecosystems in the basin.