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Upscaling lowland rice production to improve food security through improved solar powered irrigation practices

CTCN

Context

Liberia is a small West African state with borders in the north with the republic of Guinea, in east with Ivory Coast, in the west, with Sierra Leone and in the south with the Atlantic Ocean. Agriculture is a major sector of Liberia employing more than 70% of the population. However, Liberia agriculture system is rain-fed, indicating heavy dependence on rainfall. Climate change has posed serious challenge on all sectors and has adversely threatened sustainable agricultural production in Liberia.

Besides, the historical climate change scenarios include increased average annual temperatures of 0.8°C throughout the country, a 15.7% increase of hot nights which lead to decline in mean annual rainfall. All of these are happening when Liberia is yet to recover from the 14 unbroken years of civil conflict that ruin major agricultural infrastructures ranging from farm electricity, mails for rice production in the targeted agro-ecological zones and coupled with the global recession, Ebola and now COVID-19. Prior to the war, there were estimates about the irrigation potentials of the country (FAO, 2004). Today, there is little or no information about full or partial control irrigation; surface irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, localized irrigation, percent of area irrigated from groundwater and percent of area irrigated from surface water in Liberia. The project, therefore, seeks support to upscale lowland rice production through irrigation technology.

CTCN Support

  • Analyse the current irrigation and rice cultivation practices in one county of Liberia
  • Design appropriate irrigation and solar water pumping technologies for farming in the selected county
  • Select appropriate technology
  • Pilot a small-scale implementation of the solar pumping system in the selected county of Liberia
  • Elaborate and disseminate training’s materials and workshops
  • Formulate an enabling environment roadmap and monitoring and evaluation framework

Expected Results

The project aims at improving rice production. Liberia is dependent on agriculture to ensure its food security. The solar pumping irrigation system, if correctly managed, enables better and more efficient use of the water. Better irrigation systems can also improve the quality of life of farmers.

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