John Moehla, Matthias Halwartb, Ines Beernaertsc
a FAO Regional Office for Africa, Accra, Ghana
b FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Rome, Italy
c FAO Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, Rome, Italy
Moehl, J., Halwart, M. & Beernaerts, I. 2006. Proposal for a programme of integrated inland water resources management in drought-prone West African countries. In M. Halwart & A.A. van Dam, eds. Integrated irrigation and aquaculture in West Africa: concepts, practices and potential, pp. 175–181. Rome, FAO. 181 pp.
A proposal is presented for a programme on integrated inland water resources management that will contribute to improved food security in drought-prone West African countries through development of integrated irrigation-aquaculture (IAA). The main beneficiaries of the programme are irrigation management committees, small-scale farmers involved in irrigated rice, vegetable and pasture production as well as small-scale farmers involved in fish culture, including women's groups involved in processing, preservation and marketing activities of agricultural products and fish. Specific objectives of the programme include: (1) strengthened national capacities to assess IIA potential and improve IIA production techniques and practices; (2) financially and ecologically viable, socio-culturally acceptable IIA systems that improve land and water productivity as well as irrigation efficiency, managed by farmers/fishers; (3) improved processing, preservation and marketing of agricultural and fishery products through women's groups; (4) regional cooperation and information exchange on IIA research and development through an IIA network. After an analysis of sectorial, technical, institutional, socio-economic and post-harvest constraints, and of the opportunities for IIA, the institutional framework and expected results are elaborated in detail.
Background of IIA
Several regional and international meetings have proposed frameworks for programmes for integrated inland water resources management in water-scarce regions. Among these frameworks, Integrated Irrigation and Aquaculture (IIA) is an innovative strategy to improve agricultural productivity from every drop of water used while improving the financial sustainability of investments in irrigation. Adopting IIA through a programme of Integrated Inland Water Resources Management (as proposed in this chapter) will contribute to improved food security in drought-prone West African countries.
This project proposal has been originally proposed to the eleventh Session of the Committee on the Inland Fisheries of Africa (CIFA) in October 2000 where it was endorsed by country delegations (FAO, 2001). Participating countries originally included Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. Subsequently, Senegal joined the IIA group1. Parts or all of the territories of the participating countries belong to the Sahelian Zone which is characterised by an arid tropical climate. This area is bordered on the north by the Sahara Desert and to the south by the Sudanese agro-ecological zone, corresponding to mean annual precipitation of 100 mm and 600 mm, respectively. Water constitutes the principal ecological constraint in the Sahelian Zone.
IIA offers one strategy to mitigate the severe effects of chronic water shortages. IIA represents a true integration of two different but related agricultural production systems; irrigation and aquaculture. As a true integration, there are tangible synergies, with the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
Limited trials on IIA systems have been initiated in the sub-region and different technologies are known in various countries. One of the best known systems is rice-fish production. Trials in rice-fish culture had been undertaken in the past but were abandoned for various reasons (exclusion of socio-economical aspects, lack of expertise, theft, etc.). Other models of integration are less well known. These models are often based on indigenous technology implemented spontaneously by users without planning and/or monitoring, often with lack of necessary preliminary studies.
Constraints to IIA
West Africa is classified as economically water-scarce, all countries facing severe financial and capacity difficulties in meeting their water needs. Expanding populations in arid areas means there is a rapidly growing demand for food with an urgent requirement to increase the number of irrigation schemes. However, the financial means to establish these new schemes are increasingly less available from the states and donors. With high competition for dwindling financial resources local assets and increased financial participation from the beneficiaries have to be mobilized. In this context, over the past several years governments have been adopting a policy of transferring the management of former public sector irrigation schemes to the beneficiaries. Unfortunately, these new managers often lack adequate support and extension services to enable them to strengthen their technical and financial management capacities. They remain little involved with the design of water delivery systems which are consequently often poorly adapted to local conditions.
Concurrently with the shift in operational responsibility for many irrigation schemes and the need to expand production, inland capture fisheries in the region are stagnating or declining, further exacerbating the overall food supply shortage. Although efforts have been made to develop fish culture in the Sahelian zone, these remained generally unsustainable. The main reasons for this poor success were identified as being pan-African in nature and include the lack of quality seed, feed capital, and information combined with poor access to necessary markets (FAO, 1999). These overarching constraints were highlighted and expanded upon during a recent Expert Workshop organized in 2004 by the FAO and the WorldFish Center (Moehl et al., 2005). These included inter alia :
Certain technical constraints are specifically related to the development of IIA. In addition to the ubiquitous requirements of satisfactory inputs and markets, IIA systems but technically interface to the benefit of the two systems. This requires developing water delivery, management and harvesting strategies that are hopefully mutually beneficial and certainly not mutually detrimental. Lack of better understanding and characterization of these IIA models presently hinders their wider use.
In all the countries, an interdisciplinary organizational structure is missing to harmonize IIA interventions and identify the roles of stakeholders involved with IIA research and development. Until now, adequate attention has not been devoted to monitoring/evaluation activities and identifying lessons learned. The prerequisite regulatory and legal frameworks also remain incomplete for land reforms. It is not unusual in Mali and Côte d'Ivoire to note a lack of title to land in irrigation schemes as well as conflicts between civil and traditional ownership practices.
In the context of the development of irrigation schemes and IIA models, problems include poor access to inputs (little access to credit facilities, lack of inputs, etc.) as well as competition between different farming systems for the use of available inputs (by-products and manpower). High capital costs have made many irrigation schemes very expensive ventures and some proponents of IIA view this as a mechanism of spreading the costs to establish a more profitable firm.
Among environmental constraints, pollution of water draining irrigation schemes by the inappropriate application of pesticides hinders the recycling potential of these waters through the development of downstream aquaculture.
Concerning marketing, there can be competition with fish and fishery products from other sources. There are existing traditions product paths which can involve a high degree of inequity as well as high post harvest loss. A similar situation exists for rice where the women who are primarily responsible for processing and marketing lack the necessary post-harvest skills.
In the framework of increasing aquaculture production (essentially fish culture) as well as promoting irrigated crops, the programme will seek to demonstrate in a participatory manner appropriate IIA techniques and practices aiming to alleviate the main technical, economical, socio-cultural, institutional and environmental constraints which have been previously identified.
The main beneficiaries of the programme are irrigation management committees, small-scale farmers involved in irrigated rice, vegetable and pasture production as well as small-scale farmers involved in fish culture. The target groups include women's groups involved in processing, preservation and marketing activities of agricultural products and fish. The indirect beneficiaries are planners and decision-makers, civil servants and researchers from national development and research institutions, extension workers of local support institutions, managers of the Public Sector and Civil Society (NGOs) and farmers' associations (Fish Farmer Associations, Co-operatives of rice producers, etc.).
Recent missions carried out by FAO have highlighted significant opportunities for the development of IIA in the sub-region. These include:
Trials conducted by FAO in Asian countries have shown that fish farming in irrigated plots increases substantially the fish production. The West African region has still an underutilized potential as demonstrated by the following:
Therefore, there is a conducive environment and real potential to increase agricultural and aquaculture production in West Africa through the promotion of sustainable integrated systems of irrigation and aquaculture.
FAO and its IIA technical expertise
The SIFR Expert Consultation in 1992 (FAO, 1993) identified nine research programmes for the promotion of aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Amongst these programmes, the integration of aquaculture in irrigation schemes was considered as a rapid means to increase fish production in the region.
Moreover, during its meeting in 1997, the Sub-Committee for the Protection and the Development of Inland Fisheries in the Sahelian Zone recommended (FAO, 2000):
The institutional arrangements of the proposed intervention will have a two-tiered approach.
The first tier consists of a core of five countries (Mali, Niger, Côte d'Ivoire , Burkina Faso and Senegal) which will be actively involved in IIA research and development (demonstration activities). Each country will establish a national network to ensure free flow of information and skills, co-ordinated by a designated lead institution. The national network will be made up of irrigation and fisheries institutions, associations of fishers, irrigation management committees, research and/or training institutions, institutions of environmental protection, NGOs, consultants' firms and other beneficiaries. IIA development activities that will be demonstrated in each of the country will be coordinated by a National Coordinator with the support of a multidisciplinary team.
National networks will subsequently be linked to a sub-regional network with WARDA (the Africa Rice Center, Conacry, Guinea) as possible Regional Coordinator. This operational framework would enable the programme to have important links with regional research networks that are already located at WARDA, such as the Inland Valley Consortium (IVC) and the Regional Network on Rice Research.
The second tier would become active as IIA technologies are demonstrated and the sub-regional networking is fine-tuned. This would include countries or other stakeholders from the region outside the core who would wish to participate in the network.
The programme would offer possibilities for university cooperation on integrated water resources management. This would facilitate the development of national research and development projects.
In the context of strengthening national capacities and setting up a regional training programme for the training of national trainers in IIA, a TCDC expert from Asia would be recruited.
Links with partners and existing programmes
The programme would build up a regional network based on existing regional networks (the Inland Valley Consortium, IVC; the Regional Association for Irrigation and Drainage, ARID; the Eco-regional Programme for Humid and Sub-Humid Tropics of Sub-Saharan Africa, EPHTA) and would create synergy with research institutions belonging to the CGIAR Group (WARDA; the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, IITA; and the WorldFish Center) in order to avoid duplication of effort, to promote complementarity and to maximize the utilization of resources. It would benefit from the lessons learned from past and on-going programmes/ projects (ALCOM, IIA/ IFAD, SPFS country programmes,etc.).
Links with SPFS
The programme would strengthen the integration of the “water control” and “diversification” components of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) through the introduction of IIA activities at pilot sites in all concerned countries. SPFS demonstration sites would be used for the promotion of improved IIA techniques and practices or the transfer of newly adapted IIA techniques and practices. It would also offer opportunities for undertaking IIA constraints analyses through the steering committees and SPFS Monitoring Committees at national, regional and local levels.
The programme of inland water resources management will contribute to improved food security in drought-prone West African countries, in particular Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire.
Indicators : Twenty-five percent increase in agricultural and fish production through integrated irrigation and aquaculture systems; 20 percent reduction in post-harvest losses for both fish and irrigated crops (rice and horticultural crops); and 20 percent increase in global income for members of women groups responsible for the processing, preservation and marketing of agricultural and fish products.
The programme has the following specific objectives:
|SO1||Strengthened national capacities to assess IIA potential and improve IIA production techniques and practices by the end of year two;|
|SO2||Established integrated irrigation and aquaculture systems, financially and ecologically viable, socio-culturally acceptable, improving land and water productivity as well as irrigation efficiency, managed by the farmers/ fishers by the end of year five;|
|SO3||Improved processing, preservation and marketing of agricultural and fishery products through women's groups by the end of year five;|
|SO4||By the end of the fifth year, regional co-operation, information and skills exchange on IIA research and development strengthened, through a functional IIA network;|
The list of expected results for each of the specific objectives follows:
For SO1 (strengthened national capacities to assess IIA potential and improve IIA production techniques and practices by the end of year two):
Strengthened national capacities to assess IIA potential
|R1.1||20 national statisticians (5 per country) trained to collect statistical data on irrigation and inland fishery;|
|R1.2||A regional office of statistical analysis and mapping (GIS) operational;|
|R1.3||IIA national maps and IIA regional map produced.|
These maps will allow for the characterization of the IIA physical potential in order to promote the regional transfer of appropriate IIA technologies and sensitize decision makers on the potential contribution of IIA to increased agricultural and aquaculture production.
Strengthened national capacities to improve IIA production techniques and practices
|R1.4||12 IIA specialists from the Public Sector and Civil Society (NGO) completed long-term scholarship programmes and returned to assist the programme;|
|R1.5||An IIA training curriculum developed during a regional workshop (the development of the training curriculum implies the preparation of training modules for each IIA model);|
|R1.6||20 national trainers (5 per country) of technician-extension worker level trained at regional level in a participatory manner on IIA technologies.|
For SO2: (established integrated irrigation and aquaculture systems, financially and ecologically viable, socio-culturally acceptable, improving land and water productivity as well as irrigation efficiency, managed by the farmers/fishers by the end of the fifth year):
Techniques and practices of existing local IIA models improved and new IIA techniques and practices of introduced IIA models adapted.
|R2.1||An inventory report elaborated on local IIA models as well as on IIA research studies conducted in the sub-region;|
|R2.2||Multidisciplinary feasibility studies (technique, financial and economical, socio-cultural, environmental and sanitary) carried out for the selected IIA models (to be promoted in the sub-region);|
|R2.3||A Research Master Plan elaborated, enabling the formulation and the implementation of national research programmes by country and a regional research programme with the research institutions of the CGIAR Group (the research master plan is based on the IIA constraints identified at national level in a participatory manner. It will include the identification of key indicators for the monitoring-evaluation process);|
|R2.4||Demonstration protocols elaborated for the selected IIA models.|
Improved IIA techniques and practices of local models and newly adapted IIA techniques and practices of introduced models (production) demonstrated.
|R2.5||40 IIA demonstration sites, covering a total area of at least 400 ha developed for improved water control with the participation of beneficiaries;|
|R2.6||40 Water User Associations (10 per country) established/strengthened for the development and management of water control structures;|
|R2.7||1200 farmers/fishers trained in a participatory manner in the technical and financial management of integrated irrigation and aquaculture systems (including water management);|
|R2.8||Improved and newly adapted IIA production techniques and practices demonstrated at the 40 sites.|
For SO3: Improved processing, preservation and marketing of agricultural and fishery products through women's groups by the end of year five;
|R3.1||A market study of IIA related products (analysis of constraints and opportunities) carried out for each production zone;|
|R3.2||40 women's groups (10/country) established/ strengthened and organized. The organization of women's groups will aim to ensure access to and control over post-harvest equipment, credit, etc.;|
|R3.3||The members of 40 women's groups are trained on post-harvest techniques and practices as well as self-management;|
|R3.4||Improved techniques and practices of processing, preservation and marketing are demonstrated to the 40 women's groups;|
|R3.5||Local market infrastructure and structures put in place and/or improved.|
For SO4: By the end of the fifth year, regional co-operation, information and skills exchange on IIA research and development strengthened through a functional IIA network;
|R4.1||The Office of the Regional Co-ordination established and operational;|
|R4.2||4 National Co-ordination Units established and operational;|
|R4.3||A Multidisciplinary Steering Committee established and operational;|
|R4.4||A Pan-African Workshop “Review of IIA National Experiences” conducted. This Pan-African workshop will enable new stakeholders to take part in the network;|
|R4.5||IIA communication tools developed (quarterly liaison bulletin, video cassette on IIA technologies demonstrated in the sub-region, WFD, etc.);|
|R4.6||Study tours organized for 10 trained extension workers.|
FAO. 1993. CIFA ReportOf the second session of the Working Party on Aquaculture.Harare, Zimbabwe, 13–17 September 1993.FAO Fisheries Report 489. Rome, FAO. 31 pp.
FAO. 1999. Africa regional aquaculture review. Proceedings of a workshop held in Accra, Ghana, 22–24 September 1999. CIFA Occasional Paper 24. Accra, FAO. 50 pp.
FAO. 2000. Report of the seventh session of the Sub-Committee for the Protection and Development of the Fisheries in the Sahelian Zone. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 3–6 July 2000. FAO Fisheries Report 635. Accra, FAO. 30 pp.
FAO. 2001. Report of the eleventh session of the Committee for Inland Fisheries of Africa. Abuja, Nigeria, 24–27 October 2000. FAO Fisheries Report 644. Accra, FAO. 53 pp.
Moehl, J.F., Halwart, M. & Brummett, R. 2005. Report of the FAO-WorldFish Center workshop on small-scale aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa: revisiting the aquaculture target group paradigm. Limbé, Cameroon, 23–26 March 2004. CIFA Occasional Paper 25. Rome, FAO. 54 pp.
1 A request was received from the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Water Supply and Food Security in Senegal to consider Senegal as an additional project country. This led to the assessment and (positive) evaluation of IIA opportunities in Senegal (Peterson et al., Chapter 8, this volume).