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Accelerating inclusive farmer-led irrigation (FLI) and reaching scale: Key things to consider

Claudia Sadoff, Thai Thi Minh, Nick Brozović, Nicole Lefore, Samir Ibrahim, Phil Woodhouse
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Hosted by:
International Water Management Institute
The World Bank Group
Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute
Global Water Partnership
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About the webinar
Fostering FLI can boost agricultural productivity, but it must ensure inclusive strategies.

Farmer-led irrigation development (FLI) has gained increased attention by government institutions, development and implementation partners as one of the potential solutions to build climate resilience for smallholder farmers and transform food systems to support healthy diets for all. Furthermore, the knock-on effects of health-related disasters such as the Covid-19 pandemic on market disruptions impacting food and nutrition security, enforces the urgency to increase multiple purpose water access and increase local community resilience.

The question arises on how we can accelerate sustainable scaling of FLI given the challenges of underdeveloped irrigation supply chains, high upfront costs and lack finance/business models, lack or underdeveloped markets and agricultural value chains (especially for high value crops), gender and social inclusion gaps in access to and benefits from FLI, and limited water resource governance.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) together with the World Bank, The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) are hosting a virtual mini-series to discuss key issues and identify a way forward for operationalizing sustainable and inclusive scaling of farmer-led irrigation development. The webinar series is geared towards practitioners, policy makers, private sector and researchers interested in further advancing FLI globally and overcoming the often observed systemic barriers in reaching scale.

©IFAD/Barbara Gravelli
Focus Region:
Focus Topic:
Land / Water / Resource Management
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Market / Trade
Gender / Youth / Social Inclusion
About the speakers

Claudia Sadoff

Director General, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) 

Before joining IWMI, Claudia was Global Lead for Water Security and Integrated Resource Management at the World Bank. She received appointments from a wide variety of other organizations as well, serving as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Oxford University, Chair of the GWP/OECD Task Force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth, Economic Advisor to IUCN, Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water Security, Member of the Global Water Partnership Technical Committee and Fulbright scholar at the Thailand Development Research Institute.

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Thai Thi Minh

Senior Researcher – Upscalling Innovations, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Before joining IWMI, Thai Minh served as postdoc and assistant professor at the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), University of Copenhagen, Denmark during 2010-2017, and regional director at Rikolto International in Vietnam during 2017-2019. Thai Minh also served as senior consultant for Worls Bank, Danida, GIZ, FAO, WWF, World Vision, and other International NGOs. She authored or co-authored nearly 50 publications, one third in peer-reviewed books and journals. She had studied in different educational environments (Vietnam, Thailand, and Germany), and has additional work experiences from Europe (Denmark, Estonia, Germany), Asia (Vietnam, Lao, Bhutan, Indonesia, Japan) and Africa (Tanzania, and Uganda). Minh has been joining IWMI since July 2019 and based at IWMI Ghana office.

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Nick Brozović

Nick is an economist with worldwide experience in water policy and management. He serves as the Director of Policy for the University of Nebraska’s Water for Food Global Institute and as a Professor of Agricultural Economics. His local, national, and multinational research evaluates policies and governance structures for agricultural water use and informs water managers and decision makers. His entrepreneurship collaborations with startups and agribusinesses develop, test, and validate new software and hardware products and business models.

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Nicole Lefore

Nicole Lefore is the director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation at the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. She was previously a senior project manager at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in South Africa. Nicole has 20+ years of experience managing projects related to agricultural development, water and land resources, institutions, and capacity development.

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Samir Ibrahim

Co-founder & CEO, SunCulture

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Phil Woodhouse

Professor in the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester.

After training as an agricultural scientist at Oxford (BA) and Reading (PhD), Philip Woodhouse worked in Mozambique for eight years for the National Agronomy Research Institute and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Since returning to the UK he has been based first at the Open University and subsequently at Manchester. He has undertaken research in a number of countries in Francophone West Africa, southern Africa, and East Africa. He has also collaborated on research in Brazil.

Philip Woodhouse was Head of the Institute for Development Policy and Management from 2003 to 2006. He served as a sub-panel member for Development Studies in the RAE 2008 (Research Assessment Exercise) and for Anthropology and Development Studies in the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework) organised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

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