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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Projects and activities | 14 October 2019

WAGRINNOVA - Co-innovations across scales to enhance sustainable intensification, resilience, and food and nutritional security in water-managed agricultural systems in West Africa

Brief me

The development of irrigated and improved lowland agriculture in Western Africa (WA) has not resulted in a significant increase in food security or in a motor for economic growth, in spite of its large potential and the great benefits observed in other regions of the world. When successful, irrigated agriculture reduces crop failure, increases cropping diversity and land productivity, contributes to balanced nutrition and to develop food markets and agroindustry, and generates employment; conversely, it has environmental implications. WAGRINNOVA aims at deepening on why irrigated agriculture has not resulted in the expected impact in Western Sahel, and at setting the basis for changing this, particularly now that there is a revival of investment in rehabilitating abandoned or degraded irrigated land. We use a multiscale approach and participatory action research for characterising and benchmarking current conditions, and for co-designing innovations and developing environmentally-friendly and economically-viable systems adapted to local conditions in innovation hubs. These activities are accompanied by the required capacity building with special attention to the participation of youth and women in the opportunities brought by crop diversification and ICT tools. The consortium, integrated by five African institutions, five European, and five associate partners, aspires to change the development paradigm for irrigated and other water-managed agricultures in WA and identify environmental-friendly systems in WA and Spain.