About the Innovation Lab
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Irrigation and Mechanization Systems (ILIMS) is one of more than 20 Feed the Future Innovation Labs. These labs leverage U.S. university research to advance agricultural science and reduce poverty.
ILIMS generates research-based evidence to support the growth of vibrant irrigation and mechanization markets; develops strong institutions and local capacity for their sustainability; and fosters opportunities for equitable access.
Despite technology development, adoption levels of mechanized irrigation and other machinery remain extremely low in most low- and middle-income countries, especially among women, youth and other marginalized groups. To address this, ILIMS research catalyzes increased use of irrigation and mechanization technologies and practices in an inclusive, economically and environmentally sustainable way. Results contribute to the U.S. Government’s Global Food Security Strategy’s objectives, including inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, improved resilience and better nutrition.
ILIMS responds to the following five priority knowledge gaps identified by recent research, stakeholder engagement and public policy directions in target geographies:
- Developing suitable socio-technical bundles that address the needs of specific producer types, including women, youth, and vulnerable people;
- Establishing and strengthening institutions for natural resource governance and climate resilience;
- Supporting inclusive market systems that enable scaling of profitable use of irrigation and mechanization;
- Developing human resource capacity that supports mechanization and irrigation system resilience; and
- Formulating strategies for nutrition-sensitive mechanization and irrigation that safeguard and enhance health and inclusivity.
Cross-cutting issues, particularly gender and youth, as well as climate change, will be prominent across all areas.
Countries of Focus
Preliminary countries of focus for the project include Nepal, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Honduras and Guatemala, as well as the East and Southern Africa regions.
Led by the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Irrigation and Mechanization Systems is managed by a team at the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska. With more than 13 years of experience in the areas of global food and security and its extensive international networks, the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska is well positioned to lead the project, along with support from the University of Nebraska and its deep bench of faculty expertise. ILIMS will accelerate its efforts by utilizing a research partner consortium comprised of leading research institutions for both irrigation and mechanization with strong systems and market-based scaling approaches, as well as stakeholder networks.
Funding for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Irrigation and Mechanization Systems is provided by the U.S.Agency for International Development, as part of the Feed the Future global hunger and food security initiative.
Our Global Partners
The experience and capabilities of our partners is critical to ILIMS’s goals of influencing regional and global science, approaches, policies and investments in irrigation and mechanization systems.
- IFPRI : International Food Policy Research Institute
- Catholic Relief Services
- International Water Management Institute
- Bahir Dar University
- Tetra Tech
- University of Missouri
- Tennessee State University