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More effective and sustainable investments in water for poverty reduction

About the project

Water is crucial to economies and livelihoods and it is central for poverty reduction.

It is currently estimated that by 2050 the global population will be 9 billion with most of the increase taking place in developing countries. To feed the world in 2050 and beyond, intensification of agricultural production and mobilizing 20 percent more fresh water globally is required to meet the demand.

Agricultural water is fundamental to agriculture-based rural livelihoods, and sufficient availability and reliable access to water is commonly a constraint to production and other activities. In addition, water provides a centre around which other interventions can be organized. In this respect, increasing and improving investments in agricultural water management to support smallholders’ livelihoods is still a priority in rural areas. There is a need to develop new models of planning and implementation for agricultural water management investments, by taking into account the diversity and complexity of the country contexts and by tailoring interventions to rural population priorities and livelihood strategies. Any rural water development strategy needs to deal with multilocal diversified livelihood systems with limited capacities for agricultural investment and a predominance of risk-avoiding strategies.

Guidance is needed to improve and apply knowledge on which practices and approaches work best under which circumstances and why, and use that knowledge to inform farmers about best practices, improve national policies and institutions, as well as influence development objectives and strategies related to agricultural water management.