Irrigation and Mechanization Month 2022
Irrigation and mechanization in Africa have the potential to sustainably boost agricultural productivity by at least 50%; however, African farming systems are almost entirely rainfed and utilize low levels of mechanization. Though there are numerous proven forms of small-scale irrigation (SSI), landscape level agricultural water management (AWM) and mechanization that are key technologies for smallholders on their pathway out of poverty and food insecurity, these technologies, though different in form, face similar challenges on scaling and enabling their intended impacts. For example, these technologies require significant capital investments by smallholders and require robust market systems to support their use and maintenance. Thus, the focus of this theme month is less on advancements in developing new pumps and machinery, but rather on exploring the enabling systems that make such technologies more accessible and impactful for smallholders — minimizing system tradeoffs and maximizing synergies.