Communique Brief — 5 September, 2018
DWFI and partners develop a joint statement supporting inclusive and sustainable farmer-led irrigation, presented at the 2018 AGRF Conference in Kigali, Rwanda.
We, the participants of the African Green Revolution Forum, including African Heads of State, ministers, and representatives of farmer organizations, private agribusinesses, financial institutions, academics, development partners, NGOs, and civil society, affirm this joint statement supporting inclusive and sustainable farmer-led irrigation (FLI), providing a common understanding of its goals, and principles guiding its development for food security and poverty reduction.
In order to be most effective and enduring, a substantial portion of irrigation expansion must be “farmer-led.” This means that the technology, practice, financing, operation, and maintenance needs must be determined by the farmers and community directly impacted by the irrigation system.
The Joint Statement lays the groundwork for agreement about critical policies, strategies, and programs for implementing and expanding FLI in pursuance of sustainable development and food security in Africa. This joint statement explicitly addresses the need to:
- Catalyze private and public sector support of the enabling environment though innovative finance and policy
- Provide appropriate incentives and risk mitigation tools to ensure that small-scale farmers, especially the poor, women, and youth, can access technology through private supply chains
- Integrate evidence-based knowledge and collective action in FLI to promote sustainable water resource management
- Build capacity and adapt technologies to monitor and assess the welfare and resource impacts of FLI at a variety of levels
Recognizing the critical role of FLI to achieve food security and reduce poverty, we, the partners, therefore call for:
- Greater emphasis across all stakeholders in recognizing the importance of irrigation and water management for ending hunger in Africa by 2025, as stated in the Malabo Declaration, and affirmed by SDG 2.
- Recognition of the potential for, acceleration of, and value of FLI as a tool to accelerate these aims and the need for adaptation of public and private sector approaches to serving farmer needs.
- Investment in distributed irrigation technologies, monitoring to ensure sustainability, and innovative financing to enable greater risk-taking by private sector actors seeking to deliver services to farmers and for smallholders seeking to adopt them.
- More concerted engagement with existing farmer-led platforms and farmer-service providers such as farmers’ organizations, cooperatives, and agro-dealers to better understand challenges and opportunities to scaling FLI.
- Support for a common learning agenda and mechanisms for exchange information and experience across public sector, private sector, civil society, farmers, and academia.
- Examination of existing public policies and investment approaches to identify opportunities for actions that better support FLI.