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Linda Mayoux, International Consultant

Let me share some personal reflections on the Forum on Empowerment through Household Methodologies,  jointly organized by IFAD, Oxfam and Hivos (Rome, 27-29 June 2016). This  was a wonderful opportunity to meet both old and new friends working with Household Methodologies (HHM). The enthusiasm and commitment of participants was high – inspired by our common vision of greater happiness and understanding between women, men and youth, and the greater wealth and wellbeing that can be experienced in households across the world. More than 80 participants from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Australasia shared their experience and considerable achievements in inspiring and supporting men as well as women to change gender inequalities that are constraining their lives.

The underlying message is that changing gender inequalities is not only essential for poverty reduction and democracy. Challenging gender inequality can open up a new and more fun world for all, young and old,  as they discover new ways to be themselves and to relate to each other, at all levels.

As many of the poster sessions of the different HHM processes demonstrated men and women of all ages coming together around a new and constructive vision for themselves and their families. This includes recognition of women’s right to achieve their full economic, social and political potential – including special attention to girls. Men of all ages can also change, enjoying more love and respect. The presentations countered some of the concerns within IFAD and elsewhere – demonstrating that support for people at household level is not ‘risky busybody interference’ in private lives, but a way of helping men and women to address personal and relational blockages to achieving what they want from life.

Participants presented the many ways in which they have used and adapted the basic Gender Action Learning for Sustainability (GALS) tools – Visioning, Vision Journeys, Gender Balance Trees, Gender Diamonds, Gender Challenge Action Trees and Change Leadership Maps. Experience shows that within a relatively short time, household analysis of gender inequalities can lead to fundamental change in tangibles like division of work, land ownership, business management, co-operative leadership and policy changes.

The Forum enabled a more complete assessment of the number of people involved in different types of HHM – estimated at over 130,000. This figure does not includethe very many more people reached indirectly through peer sharing and informal organizational ‘osmosis’.

Participants discussed not only how women, men and their families and communities benefit, but also private sector companies, financial service providers and local economies. Local and national governments are also increasingly seeing the possibilities and benefits for change, and the way GALS tools can help their work and the democratic process.

In order to make a really significant impact on global gender inequalities household methodologies need to reach not thousands of people but millions. This means new ways of inspiring large numbers of women and men for change, new concepts of leadership, and different organizational models. Building a movement at this scale cannot be achieved through conventional top down Training of Trainers dissemination unless budgets are extremely large and organizations are already strong, participatory and have sufficient staff time. This is extremely rare and even then unlikely to be the most cost-effective or sustainable approach.

The model I proposed at the Forum was a more dynamic ‘headless’ model, drawing in part on new business and mobilization models - capable of constant self-replication, self-regeneration, innovation and growth in response to changing energies and needs at different levels. But this dynamic model also requires an even deeper ‘reversal’ of power between implementing agencies and women and men at community level. It also implies a somewhat different role for service providers and ‘experts’ within the process.

First the amoebas who are sparking self-generating change at community level: The main promoters and ‘beneficiaries’ for HHM like GALS are the many champion ’amoeba’ – women and men implementing their own personal gender changes within their existing and new support networks in their own communities and organizations.

Second the hydras: Everyone is a leader. Scale is best achieved through inspiration and example and encouraging as many people as possible at all levels to become leaders of change in whatever effective ways they discover, and exchange their ideas and experiences. Existing leaders come and go, and are often very busy. So I proposed a much more ‘headless hydra model’ where organization springs up where energies appear, where everyone is free to get up and move without consulting ‘authorities’.

Finally the busy spiders  –  ‘brokers’ in leadership terminology: Individuals and/or organizations who make their webs to provide linkages between different processes and levels. Spiders include not only champions and HHM practitioners, but also people who provide openings and linkages between HHM and other established networks. 

It was intended that this Forum would provide a basis for starting networking at various levels.  We all left with happy memories of 80+ Forum friends  and hope to meet again soon – at least in cyberspace!!!

Key links GALS (Gender Action Learning for Sustainability) resources and processes I am involved with:
http://www.galsatscale.net for GALS toolkits and resources
http://www.gamechangenetwork.org (blog with links to my GALS partners and processes and people involved in other like-minded gender mainstreaming initiatives)
http://www.zemniimages.com/GameChangeNetwork (for high resolution photos) 

Clare Bishop-Sambrook, Lead Technical Specialist (Gender and Social Inclusion), Policy and Technical Advisory Division

Two years ago I would not have been confident to write a short blog on the Joint Programme on the economic empowerment of rural women (RWEE).  The RWEE is a global initiative jointly implemented by FAO, IFAD, UN Women and WFP in seven countries, whose overarching goal is to secure rural women's livelihoods and rights in the context of sustainable development.

Two years ago, I would have been able to tell you how the idea was first mooted by Michelle Bachlett, the then head of UN Women. In 2011 she challenged the heads of the Rome-based agencies to work together to support the economic empowerment of rural women. I would have described how the technical staff in each agency worked together to develop the concept into a programme with four outcome areas and seven implementing countries, and engaged UNDP’s multi-partner trust fund office to manage any monies that the JP would receive.

I could have talked about preliminary activities at country level. The agencies- working with relevant government  departments - conducted a needs assessment of rural women and mapped ongoing activities, comparative advantages of each agency and potential synergies.  Individual country programmes were developed and validated at multi-stakeholder workshops.

But I couldn’t have told you about any activities on the ground because we had no dedicated funds.

Despite doing what agencies recognise as good practice and donors urge us to do – namely working together, as set out in the Paris Declaration of 2005 – we found it extremely difficult to raise funds. We held well-attended launches in New York and Rome in 2013 but it was not until WFP hosted a large fund raising event in 2014 that we were finally successful. Norway stepped in with US$1.6 million contribution, soon followed by SIDA with US$15 million to be disbursed over three years. At last things were able to happen in earnest at country and community level. In addition, the Ethiopia also raised an additional US$1.5 million from the Sustainable Development Goals Fund. Still this is far from the original goal of US$35 million.

What have been the early achievements?
The key results achieved in 2015 include:
·    - 3,500 women trained on improved agricultural technologies
·    - 2,000 women organised in cooperatives
·    - 1,750 women accessed financial services
·      over 1,000 women linked to home-grown school feeding programmes
·    - 5,200 women received business development support for income-generation
·    - 650 women leaders participated in national rural women’s conferences for advocacy purposes
·    - 8,000 people attended sensitization campaign on women’s rights.

The impact of the programme is more than just about increased productivity and increased incomes. It is also about improvements in the quality of people’s lives  – not just for the women participating in the RWEE in terms of increased self-confidence and dignity – but also their family members.

What has contributed to effective implementation?
Several factors have contributed to successful implementation:
  • Drawing on the specialist experiences of each agency: IFAD has supported the use of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) – an innovative tool for baseline studies and impact assessments - in Guatemala and Niger (with FAO), household methodologies in Rwanda and Kyrgyzstan, and rural finance in Ethiopia. FAO has focused on Dimtra listening clubs and agricultural technologies; WFP on purchase for progress; and UN Women on women’s leadership and policy dialogue.
  • National ownership: This has been promoted since the beginning of the programme through consultation with stakeholders at the country level, alignment with national priorities, and a governance structure that facilitates the flow of information and better coordination among national partners.
  • Using the same entry points and layering activities: Rather than spreading interventions across a wide group of beneficiaries, the JP decided to deepen impact by using the same entry point in a given region, such as self-help groups, rural savings and lending groups, Dimitra listening clubs – and layering different activities on same set of beneficiaries.
  • Hiring global and national coordinators: They work on behalf of the whole programme, seeing activities in the whole rather through the perspective of one specific agency (see box 2). They are supported at global and national levels by steering committees and technical advisory groups. At HQ level, the programme is supported not only by the gender teams but also partnerships and resource mobilization staff and communications teams. Knowledge sharing and south-south exchanges are an important element of the implementation process.
  • Flexibility: Within the framework of the four outcome areas, have been able to be flexible at the national level to respond to specific needs and priorities, such as the Ebola crisis in Liberia, drought in Ethiopia and gender-based violence in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Working with men: Men have been actively involved in the design and implementation of the interventions through awareness raising campaigns and the utilization of innovative methodologies that aim at addressing power relationships within the communities (Dimitra clubs and the “HeforShe” campaign) and households (household methodologies).

Comments by Jipara Turmamatova, National coordinator of JP in Kyrgyzstan
I wear two hats: as national JP coordinator and UN Women programme manager. It took me time to differentiate between the two and to learn how to coordinate and adopt a whole programme perspective. I am delighted to work in the team of committed professionals from the partner agencies. We have made a great progress in becoming a joint programme, going through challenges, regardless of individual agencies' mandates and interests, and joining efforts to work through the same entry point of women's self-help groups.
Rural women face a range of challenges in their everyday life, and we cannot put aside some aspects - such as violence, security or reproductive health - and only focus on productivity or other interventions. It takes a joint approach to address these multiple dimensions as a whole, complementing each other's interventions.
We are also very happy that other development actors have started using the JP as a platform for reaching rural women, such as UNFPA with its messages on maternal health. 

What next?
As the outgoing chairperson of the international steering committee and technical advisory group I am acutely aware of the need to raise extra funds. The present money will take us until the end of 2017, but even then activities are limited by the small size of the pot (supporting activities across seven countries and among four agencies). Indeed, some countries have already completed their available funds for 2016. It is estimated there is a funding gap of around UD15 million based on estimates of what country teams would wish to achieve over the next two years.

This year we have held side events during the Commission on the Status of Women in New York (March) and the EU development days in Brussels (June). The photo shows members of the JP team meeting with the Network for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment of the permanent representatives in Rome in June for a very fruitful discussion (see the photo below). Other events planned for 2016 include a side event at CFS with the Gender Network (October) and another at the high level event on rural women being organized by the Slovak presidency of the EU (November).

And my final thought?
We have mechanisms in place which are proving effective in delivering a joint programme producing tangible benefits for rural women. Lessons can be learned about inter-agency cooperation modalities and innovative approaches; the findings can be shared beyond the four agencies and partners to contribute to the SDG dialogue and improve the outcomes.

With approximately 18,000 women and their households directly benefitting from the JP RWEE and a governance mechanism fully operational at the global and national level, the programme has the potential to be scaled-up to additional 50,000 women if further contributions are received.

JP team meeting with the Network for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment of the permanent representatives in IFAD HQ

Media charity tve is launching its seventh annual biomovies competition. As part of this, IFAD is sponsoring the Short Film Competition strand on Family Farmers. Entrants are invited to send in their ideas for a one-minute film in this category. 

The overall theme for tvebiomovies 2016 is planetary boundaries, about living within the earth’s limits. The competition is about you, sharing your ideas of the actions we must take, the ways we must live and how we must value the planet we share.

tvebiomovies 2016 is now open and the deadline for entries is 23:00 GMT on 19 August.

There are four challenges in tvebiomovies 2016:

The Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change asks for three-minute video diaries of actions you are taking to address climate change or to raise public awareness.

The short film competition seeks proposals for a one-minute film in five categories: biodiversity, forests, family farmers, recycling, and oceans and seas.

Use your Minecraft skills to enter their Connect4Climate Sustainable Worlds competition to design an environmental habitat.

Post a short 30-second video to Instagram about how you save water with the #stopthatdrop competition.

Anyone participating in tvebiomovies can submit their entry via the website at biomovies.tve.org. Rural youth are especially encouraged to enter. You don’t need expensive video equipment– just one good idea and a basic camera to record it! This is a chance to share your perspective and address how issues like environmental degradation, biodiversity loss or climate change are affecting your family or community.

Biomovies 2016 is also supported by the Deutsche Bundestiftung Umwelt (DBU), the Lighthouse Foundation, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility, and Connect4Climate.

IFAD Annual Report 2015: Cheat sheet

Posted by Hazel Bedford Wednesday, June 29, 2016 0 comments

Go to the IFAD Annual Report 2015
IFAD’s Annual Report and Highlights for 2015 have just been published. People from across the organization have contributed and the report contains a wealth of information on our work and our results – stories, facts, figures and analysis. This short blogpost is a cheat sheet, giving you all the big numbers from the main report, plus some tasters from the stories.

These are the big numbers, correct as at 31 December 2015:
  • 231 ongoing programmes and projects funded by IFAD in partnership with 98 governments
  • IFAD investment of US$6.2 billion in the ongoing portfolio and domestic contributions and external cofinancing worth US$7.6 billion
  • 39 new programmes and projects approved in 2015 with loans, DSF grants and ASAP grants worth US$1,330.6 million
  • 70 new grants approved in 2015 worth US$73.6 million
At the time of publication (June 2016), total IFAD loan and grants approved since 1978 were worth  nearly US$17.7 billion and the programmes and projects we support had reached about 459 million people.

If you’re looking for the details behind those figures, or information on our new sovereign borrowing framework, recent replenishments, cofinancing or disbursements – take a look at the Financing Data and Resource Mobilization chapter.

Here's the breakdown of the numbers region by region.

West and Central Africa
  • 47 ongoing projects in 22 countries
  • US$1,270.7 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
  • 7 new programmes and projects for a total IFAD investment of US$184.4 million
East and Southern Africa
  • 46 ongoing projects in 17 countries
  • US$1,463.1 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
  • 7 new programmes and projects for a total IFAD investment of US$399.4 million
Asia and the Pacific
  • 66 ongoing projects in 21 countries
  • US$2,142.2 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
  • 14 new programmes and projects for a total IFAD investment of US$552.2 million
Latin America and the Caribbean
  • 36 ongoing projects in 20 countries
  • US$535.8 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
  • 7 new project for a total IFAD investment of US$116.6 million
Near East, North Africa and Europe
  • 36 ongoing projects in 18 countries
  • US$773.7 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
  • 4 new programmes and projects for a total IFAD investment of US$78.0 million
Not just numbers
The Annual Report is more than just numbers, however. It’s also about IFAD’s engagement in policy processes and dialogue on global and regional issues, including the SDGs, climate change, financing for development and more. And it spotlights key areas of activity in each region, with results and stories.

A theme that comes up in several of the stories from the field in the 2015 report is how IFAD is supporting the production, consumption and marketing of local, traditional crops like millet in Senegal, sorghum in Kenya and Tanzania and the red-seeded shrub achiote in Ecuador. Read the stories to find out how IFAD-funded projects enable farmers to improve cultivation and processing techniques at the same time as they raise awareness about the benefits of the crops, which often include resilience in the face of the effects of climate change. Connecting farmers to value chains and markets is also a key part of such projects.

You’ll also find stories that bring to life our commitment to empowering women and young people. In Moldova, ambitious young  farmer Anastasia Gilca is building her blackberry business with IFAD support. In Indonesia, businesswoman Ratna Sari Dewi Bani is leading a successful fish-processing group. And in Central Asia women spinners, knitters and felt-producers are exporting their high-quality products to Europe and America.

If you're interested in the details of new initiatives, all newly approved programmes, projects and large grants are summarized. To see which countries we’re working in and where we have country offices, take a look at the map.

If you want more than this one-page cheat sheet, there are plenty of other options  to explore from the Annual Report landing page. There are the 12-page Highlights, the 64-page print report, and the full report (which includes a wealth of information and detail, including Member States and their representatives, the Financial Statements and more).

I’d like to close with a big thank you to the many people who have contributed to AR2015: the focal points who pull together the information and give guidance during the writing phase, those who write their own sections, the people who give us the numbers and the directors who give support and clearance. Then from the production phase, the production teams in the four languages, the production coordinator, the editor, the photo editor, the sub-editor, the translators, the in-house and external designers, the editorial assistant and the proofreaders. Everyone has contributed a huge amount and I hope you will all be happy with the end result. Feel free to send suggestions for next year's report – work starts on that in September.

As usual, we’re launching the Annual Report on social media. Take a look at our Facebook page and join the conversation on twitter. Use hashtag #AR2015 and tweet your favourite quotes, facts and figures to your followers.

Written by: Francisco Pichon

On 6 May 2016, the operation and the maintenance of five large irrigation systems in the District of Kirehe in Rwanda, have been formally transferred to Irrigation Water Users Organisations (IWUOs) by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. As such these are the first batch of IWUOs in Rwanda to formally sign an Irrigation Management Transfer Agreement (IMTA) - a tri-partite agreement between Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB), District Authority and the IWUO.

In the week of 20 June 2016 a further seven IWUOs signed the agreement. The Mayor of Kirehe District co-signed the IMTA and said “Kirehe District is focused on sustainable development of its population. This means that Kirehe District’s cell and sector staff will continue to ensure that the IWUOs are working well and fulfilling their responsibilities."

The empowerment and capacity development of Irrigation Water User Organisations (IWUOs) have paved the way for Rwanda to take-over responsibility for Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of irrigation schemes in Kirehe district. We will work closely together with these IWUOs to ensure sustainable irrigation infrastructure,” said Louis Butare, Director General of Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB).

Cyunuzi  Rice Marshland under irrigation.
Credit: Viateur Karangwa
Daniel Tuyishime, President of Cyunuzi 2, one of the Irrigation Water Users Organisations, mentioned that “by signing the IMTA, we are very confident that we are going to succeed in O&M of irrigation schemes.” This is a challenging task as IWUOs can have as many as 820 members and some schemes are 15 kilometres long.

Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project

The Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project (KWAMP) is co-financed by Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda is famous for its highlands and deep valleys. A 2.7 per cent annual growth rate makes Rwanda the most densely populated African country (with 416 people per km2 ). Population growth and climate change coupled with Rwanda’s unique geography has led to severe environmental degradation, such as soil erosion and a scarcity of productive land. Sustainable soil and water conservation interventions and strategies to increase land productivity are thus needed.

Cyunuzi Dam. Credit: Viateur Karangwa
KWAMP, one of the most successful IFAD-supported projects in East and Southern Africa became effective in 2009 and will close in 2016. It has achieved its targets and attained its main development objectives as evidenced by a steep improvement in household and district-level food security, asset ownership and quality of life indicators among vulnerable groups in Kirehe district. 

The immediate objectives of the project converged on the development of sustainable small-scale commercial agriculture in Kirehe District. Claver Gasirabo, coordinator for KWAMP explains that “out of the total project budget, 33 per cent has been invested in the development of irrigation schemes, including the construction of six dams”. In Kirehe District a total of 19 schemes of 2.442 ha of land have been developed.

New Approach to Capacity Development of Irrigation Water Users Organizations

During the initial years of KWAMP implementation, the approach for training of IWUOs focused predominantly on classroom based training with lectures. These sessions typically involved several IWUO committees from different schemes at the same time in large joint sessions. Mid 2014, this approach had shown to have limited impact on the capacity and strength of the IWUOs, which as a result were considered not ready or able to take over O&M of the schemes. Therefore, KWAMP revised its capacity building approach in many aspects by the end of 2014, as indicated below:

A training package with 15 practical exercises based on the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach was prepared. Exercises were selected from the Farmers Water Management Training materials developed by FAO , complemented by exercises from other training manuals . The participatory exercises were further adapted and tested in a Training of Trainers (ToT). The FFS approach fits well with the approach adopted by MINAGRI/RAB and Twigire Muhinzi, which is also based on FFS methodology. 

The training package covers four key areas: management & governance, agronomy, technical irrigation and water management, monitoring & review and exchange of experiences. In using the different training methods, it became apparent that the more active the participants are involved the more they retain from the learning. Below are the key areas of the training programme with respective objectives: 
  • Management and governance: to understand the roles and responsibilities of the IWUO; causes of conflicts and their resolution and the awareness of the members of IWUO on their rights related to access to water services; information and their collective power in holding their leaders accountable.
  • Agronomy: to understand the steps and requirements for rice/vegetable cropping seasons; draft a cropping calendar with farmers trained in cooperatives and; facilitate exchange on techniques and inputs for production among rice/vegetable farmers.
  • Technical irrigation and water management: to improve land preparation, field layout and land levelling to obtain a more equal distribution of water in the field; monitor operation and maintenance of canals and structures; review present water use/field irrigation methods and assess shortcomings; introduce possible alternative field irrigation methods and; assist farmers in defining a proper irrigation frequency and irrigation amounts.
  • Monitoring and Review at IWUO, District and National levels: to self- evaluate the experience and areas for improvement; exchange of experiences with other IWUOs and; exchange experience with other projects, schemes, districts & national stakeholders.
As explained earlier, the focus shifted to organising training per scheme involving the full range of local stakeholders. “An increased focus on practical training activities at scheme level improves the learning among the IWUO committees, zone leaders and farmers” explains Joseph K. Nsabimana, IWUO Specialist of KWAMP. “This as opposed to more theoretical lectures in a meeting hall. For example for the review of the status of O&M of a scheme, the block leaders of left side blocks assessed the same block on the right side in terms of the status of O&M. Afterwards they gave each other feedback on their observations.” 

Kinoni I Dam. Credit: Viateur Karangwa

Training at scheme level increased the awareness of the roles and responsibilities of the IWUO among a much larger number of stakeholders. This resulted in enhanced monitoring and planning practices by all stakeholders involved.

A Training of Trainers organised in Kirehe in December 2014 expanded the pool of trainers involved in the capacity building by including local leaders, IWUO committee members and farmers. This has had a big impact on local involvement and sense of ownership. Farmer to farmer training has proven to be very effective, especially in convincing relatively new IWUOs that the tasks can be done, and demonstrating how these can be done in the best way. Exchange visits also contributed to the farmer to farmer learning. The involvement of local stakeholders as trainers resulted also in reduction of overall costs of the capacity building activities. 

With the formal transfer of management responsibilities, the duties of the different parties are clearly outlined:
  • IWUOs are responsible for an annual work plan, a maintenance plan, irrigation scheduling, water delivery, regular maintenance and repairs, water fee collection and reporting; 
  • MINAGRI is responsible for monitoring, training and advice;
  • The District is responsible for coordination and monitoring through the District Irrigation Steering Committee, providing regular support and monitoring & evaluation.

Connecting farmers to district and national Levels

Participatory workshops at district and national level allowed for the sharing of experiences between Irrigation water users organisations, Cooperatives, District staff, KWAMP and other irrigation projects in Rwanda, and RAB. 

Emmanuel Musabyimana, Head of unit of IWUOs at LIME, RAB underlines the importance of the active involvement of local stakeholders in Kirehe District: “For long-term sustainability the good cooperation between the IWUO, District and RAB is essential”. 

Bonaventure Mbarushimana Musaza, Sector Agronomist agrees that “As local leaders and technicians working with the IWUOs let us put together what is required for sustainable management of irrigation. Support in organization, maintenance activities, agriculture practices, evaluation of their activities, etc.” 

Ultimately these investments will pay off, as the mayor of Kirehe district indicates “Support to farmers’ organisations is the best way for developing the country: leading to sustainability of irrigation schemes, increased production, food security and increased income.”

Kirehe District Mayor receiving books providing summary of Main Investments.
Credit: Viateur Karangwa


Close monitoring over the next few years will indicate the long-term sustainability of the IWUOs and their capacity for O&M of the schemes. The past 18 months have already shown several positive outcomes, such as:
  • Improved scheme management practices, resulting in increased rice production, with some farmers attaining yields as high as 9 tons per hectare;
  • Profitable vegetable production thanks to successful irrigation activities in hillside schemes;
  • Increased water fee collection by IWUOs, in some schemes nearing 100%. Daniel Tuyishime, President of IWUO Cyunuzi 2 explains “success in water fee collection is guaranteed by timely providing all inputs required by farmers, before requesting them to pay”
  • Increased IWUO self-reliance by finding solutions for their needs without relying on project support (e.g.: some IWUOs are constructing their own office including Cyunuzi, Rukizi, Rwabutazi, and Kinnyogo). 

For more details, or a copy of the training package, please contact: Francisco Pichón  

[1] PARTICIPATORY TRAINING AND EXTENSION IN FARMERS' WATER MANAGEMENT (PT&E-FWM), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations AGLW - Water Service of the Land and Water Development Division, CD rom, April 2001
[1] A Trainer’s Manual for Community Managed Water Supplies in Kenya, 2012. FAO and UNICEF-Kenya Country Office, SEAGA Sector Guide on Irrigation – Socio- economic and Gender Analysis Programme, FAO, 2001

To celebrate this year’s World Environment Day, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) brought together international experts to look at sustainable land management (SLM).

The discussion on June 5 was part of  IFAD’s Environment and Climate Divisions Climate Lecture Series, which highlights environmental issues facing farmers in developing countries and promotes some of the solutions that IFAD is supporting to achieve a food secure future.

Among the panellists was IFAD Vice-President, Michel Mordasini, IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division Director, Margarita Astralaga and the Director of World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT), Hanspeter Liniger.

Representing the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Jeroen Van Dalen presented a global overview of the current state of SLM,  and UNCCD’s approaches for scaling up SLM globally. He tied UNCCD work closely to that of IFAD, stressing the importance of food security.

''In the new definition by UNCCD of land degradation, food security is part of it. It shows how important it is,'' Said Van Dalen.

WOCAT Hanspeter Liniger gave an overview of the recent  IFAD grant to WOCAT.

This grant is being used to scale-up adoption of SLM in three pilot countries.

''Our ultimate beneficiaries are the land users,” said Liniger “We don’t make the change, they do.”

“There is so much experience available, it is criminal if we don’t use it for the benefit of the people.''

A recording of the lecture can be seen here.

Recipes for Change

On World Environment Day, IFAD also launched its latest episode of Recipes for Change, a web tv series where top chefs raise public awareness by cooking foods that are threatened by climate change and show how IFAD is helping farmers adapt,

The episode featured Italian celebrity chef, Carlo Cracco, who recently visited an IFAD-supported project in Kandal province in southern Cambodia. While there, he met Cambodian farmer Somreth Sophat and cooked a traditional Cambodian recipe, Somlar Kako.

 “Climate change is a fact,” said Cracco. “Perhaps we can slow it down, but we cannot stop it. So we must help those people who work the land so that there is a change in the way we fight the battle of climate change.”

Rice, a staple food in Asia, counts for almost 80 per cent of farmland in Kandal province, but frequent droughts and damaging floods mean farmers here have seen harvests halved. See the full video here.

Training the trainers on Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture

Posted by David Paqui Wednesday, June 22, 2016 0 comments

By Marian Amaka Odenigbo
Extension workers from all the provinces in Mozambique came to receive training on nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Maputo. This is the first structured training on nutrition provided to agricultural extension workers in the National Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services (DNEA), Mozambique. Agriculture extension plays vital roles in agriculture development, rural transformation and in addressing the issues of food and nutrition security.

Happily, I participated in this event to provide technical support in the training sessions involving 16 extensionists. The event took place at the Agrarian Extension center in Marracuene district, Maputo Province on 13th June - 17th June 2016. This training was organized by PRONEA Support Project (PSP) and DNEA.
Group photo of the participants

PSP is one of IFAD-supported programmes in Mozambique which has a focus on improving household food and nutrition security of subsistence farmers. In the efforts of achieving nutrition outcomes, PSP engaged a nutrition focal point with the responsibilities to facilitate nutrition mainstreaming activities including training of extension workers on nutrition-sensitive agriculture. 

Seeing the enthusiasm and keen interest among the trainees, I felt so proud on the success of this training ably coordinated by the PSP-nutrition focal person, Francisco Jeronimo.  Jeronimo challenged the participants to take the lead on this nutrition mainstreaming initiative in agriculture and rural development since they are the first set of extension workers receiving the training.

Nutrition is gaining so much attention in the world including Mozambique. “Chronic malnutrition is the main problem facing our country and we all have to join efforts to overcome this issue” said Marcela Libombo, a staff of DNEA during her opening remarks. She further reiterated that the attention for agricultural sector is now on farmers, children’s under 2 years, women of reproductive age, teachers, school children as well as activities within farmers field school (FFS).

The training session was official declared open by the Director of DNEA, Sandra Silva. Silva welcomed this kind of training in extension services as timely in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA).  She echoed that the creation of the MASA in 2015 was tasked with the duties and responsibilities for food security and good nutrition at National, Province and District levels. “I am pleased to announce that at national level, the DNEA will lead this initiative of Nutrition- Sensitive Agriculture” said Silva.

The training session

Focus of the training
• Enhanced nutrition knowledge to extension workers
• Communication skills to disseminate nutrition messages
• Technology transfer on food processing and storage

Expectation from participants
Participants were asked “what do you expect to acquire from this 5-day training?” They echoed the following;
• To transfer knowledge on how to process and cook nutritious diet to farmers
• To teach farmers the food that are nutrient dense
• To know when and what we should give to children, women and old people
• I hope to get more information to improve the food insecurity and malnutrition in my province

For diversity in the content of training, 7 facilitators from Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition, DNEA, FAO, IFAD and PROMER delivered presentations on different topics related to food and nutrition. PROMER- an IFAD-funded project in Mozambique shared the experiences of nutrition integration in the project interventions. Training sessions varied from presentations to working group sessions, field visits, evaluation and feedback.

Next step
The training event was concluded with the preparation of action plans by each province in order to conduct similar training at district levels.