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Exchange visits between watershed management projects in Africa and Brazil

The Land and Water Days resulted in a successful grant request from IFAD and Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development for exchange visits between watershed management projects in Africa, including Kagera TAMP and KWAMP, to visit the Rio Rural - Sustainable Rural Development Program in micro-watersheds and similar initiatives in Brazil. These projects are using innovative ways of planning at micro-catchment level and pooling funds from various sources, including private sector, to support improved land and water management. They also support farmers’ SLM adoption by providing an incentive cash payment (to cover implementation cost) and a flexible loan to help them invest in measures to improve productivity (especially in dairy). In return, farmers commit to abide by the (many) forest and water protection laws.

This exchange visit is expected to lead to more effective mainstreaming and funding of SLM and watershed management projects and government programmes. Project staff will be accompanied by their key policy makers, who are expected to be instrumental in mainstreaming such innovations and financing mechanisms for SLM within the African countries.

The main goal is to facilitate cross pollination of FAO IFAD and WFP projects in innovative and successful strategies that can in-build good conditions for financial sustainability and upscaling of their watershed management investments. Visiting projects will present the approaches used in the these three pillars, and discussion in country teams, how and if the experience of the projects visited is transferable. Ultimately we expect to improve collaboration and networking between HQ and field operations of IFAD –FAO – WFP on the design and implementation of land and water management projects.

The key institutions visited and people interviewed, shared their approaches on :

  • WATERSHED MANAGEMENT: Supporting the selection of a portfolio of practices that combine short-term on farm benefits with long-term watershed management results; Means of verification of these results
  • PLANNING: Building a good basis for permanence of the measures introduced: demand-driven and participatory design and capacity building: approaches and materials used
  • INCENTIVES FOR PERMANENCE: Strengthening the on-farm financial viability of improved land and water management through rural finance, agribusiness capacity development and market access assistance;  training and capacity building for staff and communities, social cohesion
  • FINANCING: Identifying innovative sources of financing for sustainable agriculture systems, including parallel government programmes and strategies for engagement of the private sector in sharing the costs of improved watershed management
  • POLICY MAINSTREAMING: Devising a strategy to institutionalize watershed management responsibilities and investment, within government and private sector (including measures to influence policy and legislation on environment and water)


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