Smallholder Systems Innovations

Program Objectives

 The general development objective of the SSI program is:

To contribute with knowledge, planning tools and institutional capacity to enable a sustainable upgrading of rainfed agriculture through adaptation and adoption of water system innovations at watershed and river basin scale in drought prone tropical and sub-tropical agro-ecosystems.

Upgrading of rainfed agriculture will contribute to poverty alleviation and improvement of rural livelihoods. The focus of the programme on water productivity improvements and sustainable land use practices will provide development tools to balance the use of scarce freshwater resources between humans and nature, and assist in reducing land degradation in vulnerable savannah agro-ecosystems.

Immediate Project Objectives:

  • To analyze the hydrological, environmental and socio-economic consequences of upscaling water system innovations in small-holder, predominantly rainfed agriculture at watershed scale,
  • To develop methodologies and decision support tools for improved rainwater management and equitable sharing of water between upstream and downstream users and uses in nature and society.
  • To translate knowledge on the links between intensification of agriculture through water system innovations, and its impacts on water, food and ecosystems at watershed and river basin scale, into useable tools for planning and policy.
  • To contribute to human capacity building on integrated water resources management with specific focus on balancing water for food and nature, in Southern Africa through PhD, MSc training, and workshops.