Special focus on farmer-led irrigation opportunities in East Africa during 2030 WRG Africa Retreat

A session focused on farmer-led irrigation opportunities was held during the recent 2030 WRG Africa Knowledge Exchange and Retreat at the end of May 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya. Key take-aways included need to integrate disruptive technologies to transform how agriculture is practiced, importance of market linkages beyond the existing formal export market structures which look at the local market as a viable business opportunity and need for creation of an enabling environment to promote more private sector engagement in farmer-led irrigation.

A presentation by the African Union (AU) provided a continental overview of the AU’s plans to develop Agriculture and Irrigation by adopting a farmer-led irrigation approach. The AU is doing so by designing a continental framework which will provide guidance to member states to develop policies in alignment with the framework to adapt to their local country needs. The speaker highlighted the importance of engaging with the private sector and empowering farmers and elaborated on how the framework aims to create an enabling policy environment for this to happen.

Access to finance and markets for farmers

A deep-dive discussion was held on financing mechanisms for supporting smallholder farmers to invest in water-efficient irrigation technologies. The Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA) is currently working with 2030 WRG, Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) and Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) to incubate and develop a pipeline of 30 bankable projects linking these farmers to offtaker markets and equipment suppliers, leveraging financing from the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank.

Integrating disruptive tech

A representative from the World Bank Agriculture Global Practice shared examples of various ways in which disruptive technologies are transforming how agriculture is practiced. He argued that most innovative companies are using disruptive technologies to bundle agricultural services including advisory, extension services, input supply, financial services, payment services and market access and the need to use this opportunity to be at the frontier of agricultural transformation. It will be key to build partnerships and leverage these technologies in order to transform how risks are managed, which financial products are offered, and how we can be resilient in the face of climate change. Technology solutions can support agriculture in improving productivity, data analytics, financial inclusion and market linkages. Such innovations need to be better integrated throughout the agriculture sector.

Formalizing the informal

Another speaker from Twiga Foods, a Kenya-based offtaker, is now looking to expand their market to Tanzania. Twiga’s uses an innovative model of formalizing the informal by linking local market traders with supply. Twiga provides offtake market linkages for non-traditional value chains that have previously focused on providing staple foods to the local market through informal street markets. Twiga’s model of providing long term contracts to small holder farmers with guaranteed market pricing has created a steady income for farmers making them able to invest in climate smart farming practices such as irrigation to meet the market demands.

Read more

Read more about the Ramthal project: “Connecting Bagalkote farmers to water supply and market opportunities for growth”

 

Photo (from left to right) Twiga Foods – Grant Brooke, Executive Director, Africa Union – Dr Mure Agbonlahor, Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank – Mzee Kilele, Agriculture GP – Parmesh Shah, Lead Rural Development Specialist

Mongolian parliament approves revised Water Pollution Fee Law

Ulaanbaatar, May 3, 2019 – The Mongolian Parliament approved a revised Water Pollution Fee Law based on a Polluter Pays model developed under 2030 WRG’s national multi-stakeholder platform. The 2030 WRG team began work with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, private and civil society stakeholders to address issues in the legal framework for water pollution fees that had eluded implementation for over five years, largely due to an overly complex model for estimating pollution charges in а context of limited technical and implementation capacity. The 2030 WRG presented best practices, highlighting water pollution fee models which incorporated economic incentives for pollution reduction; and risk-based monitoring. Following this, а preferred model for water pollution charges was identified and contextualized for the country under 2030 WRG’s multi-stakeholder platform, using Ulaanbaatar as а pilot case.

Extensive analysis of data on effluent discharge and revenue requirement for adequate wastewater treatment in Ulaanbaatar were undertaken to support а proposed structure of fees. This was discussed and agreed with private sector, along with measures to incentivize improvements in effluent quality. Further, the information disclosure requirements and basis for estimation of pollution fees payable were embedded in а revised license and discharge permit for water and wastewater, applicable to all consumers in the city. The charges and incentives are expected to lead to а reduction in pollution loads in effluents discharged by highly polluting activities. This will not only enhance the effectiveness of treatment processes at the city’s central wastewater treatment plant; but the revenues accruing from fees will also provide adequate funds for operational expenses of the treatment plant, leading to the avoidance of discharge of over 61.2 million cubic meters of inadequately treated effluent into the Tuul river.

 

Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

Israeli water technology innovators share best practices with high-level Indian stakeholders

MUMBAI, INDIA. April 4, 2019 — A recent knowledge sharing event on innovation in water technologies was held in Mumbai, India. The meeting was jointly organized by the Trade and Economic Mission of Israel in collaboration with the 2030 Water Resources Group.

 The objective of the roundtable was for Israeli water technology companies and prominent water organizations to share their knowledge on innovation in water technologies with members of the Maharashtra Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP). Eight Israeli companies were there to present their work and discuss opportunities for future collaboration. The MSP members were inspired by the various ways that the Israeli government partnered with the water sector and other industries in their country to address critical water scarcity issues and their ability to make more water available in a sustainable way.

India is suffering from a sustained water crisis that will only worsen if no action will be taken soon. Excessive demand for water, coupled with poor governance structures, erratic weather patterns, and climate impacts have led to severe water scarcity in several areas in the country. Although India’s water challenges are complex and unique, best practices and lessons learned from other parts of the world can offer replicable and scalable solutions to address some of the most critical problems.

Israel is the world’s leader in sustainable water management. The Israeli government recently joined the 2030 Water Resources Group in its efforts to reduce the gap between demand and supply for water. A small nation located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea, Israel’s demand for water is many times above its natural supply, due to its arid and semi-arid climate. Despite these challenging conditions, Israel has developed various water-saving technologies, including in water desalination, micro-irrigation, and water infrastructure and transport systems. The expertise and capacity built by leading water technology companies in Israel have been great examples for their Indian counterparts.

The exchange was attended by high-level MSP members, including representatives from the Water Resources Department and the Water Supply and Sanitation Department of the Government of Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority, several public institutions in the water sector, representatives of the Indian water industry, UNICEF, CSOs, and relevant research organizations.

Contact

For further details please reach out to Pearlini Wathore (Pearlini.Wathore@israeltrade.gov.il), J.V.R. Murty (jmurty@worldbank.org) and Karishma Gupte (kgupte@worldbank.org).