Corporate News

Water Inventory Exercise by Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform Reaps Huge Returns

A water inventory exercise carried out by the Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform (KWSP) in the Usa-River sub-catchment within the Pangani Basin—one of Tanzania’s most agriculturally productive areas and an important hydropower production region, yielded shocking results. Through this exercise, a Catchment Stewardship platform established by Tanzania 2030 WRG, discovered that 62 percent of water abstractions in the area were illegal. Furthermore, 10 percent of water users there held expired permits, and 52 percent lacked any permit whatsoever. Meanwhile, only 58 percent of registered users paid their dues.

With such meager income, it is difficult for Basin Water Boards (BWB), the Water Resources Management Authority responsible for enforcement of water resources management regulation and ensuring effective stakeholder collaboration and engagement, to carry out its mandated activities, including maintaining a registry of water users and reviewing water permits every five years. Its inability to perform such key functions directly undermines its means to secure much-needed income, and traps it in a vicious cycle. 

This inventory exercise—which was jointly carried out by the Pangani BWB in collaboration with the International Water Stewardship Program (IWaSP) and the local Water Users Association under the Catchment Management and Restoration Workgroup of the KWSP—was a much-needed first step to help BWB work its way out of that vicious cycle. Not only did the exercise uncover important insights about BWB’s users, it also gave BWB a valuable tool to raise awareness among water users about their responsibility to BWB. Specifically, the exercise gave BWB the opportunity to educate many users who were found to be abstracting water without a permit about the new act requiring all users to register with BWB.  

The efforts for the month-long inventory exercise paid off hugely. Over the course of the inventory exercise, the Pangani BWB collected a total of TZS 10.3 million (USD 4.6K) in outstanding fees.  

Moving forward, BWB plans to use the funds collected to expand the exercise beyond the Usa-River sub-catchment, which is only one of the many tributaries of the Kikuletwa River Catchment within the operation area of KWSP.  

Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Wastewater Reuse in Agriculture: An Experiment in Maharashtra

The 2030 WRG team is working with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Maharashtra and the Pune Agriculture College to launch a scientific experiment to assess the efficacy of low-energy biological treatment of city sewage and its application in agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and agro-forestry. There are plans to build two plants—each with a 100 m3/day capacity—at two campuses of the Agriculture College.

The experimental designs for both plants are based on a deep understanding of bioaccumulation of heavy metals, pesticides, organic pollutants and microorganisms in the food chain that has yet to be captured through any scientific assessments. The research approach includes testing the experimental zones with controlled food chains. Aligned with the spirit of the multi-stakeholder process followed by 2030 WRG, the experiments are designed to involve public sector (Agriculture Department), private technology developers, and civil society, specifically academia and researchers. If successful, this project could serve as an inspiration for greater adoption of wastewater reuse in the agriculture sector in India.  

Tapping city sewage

The plants are designed to tap city sewage from a drain passing through the campuses, which currently drains the wastewater into nearby river bodies. Results of initial technology evaluations carried out by a team of researchers at 2030 WRG and Pune’s Agriculture College favor the use of phytorid and bioremediation technologies, specifically using biologically engineered vegetation as a treatment option. These technologies are well commercialized and have been patented through National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), India’s leading Council for Scientific Research and Engineering (CSRE) laboratory. 

Strong regulatory support needed

In India, the economic value of treated wastewater within the context of circular economy is well understood, and there is strong regulatory support for wastewater recycling and reuse. Recent policy changes in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, and Maharashtra clearly reflects such support. Although there is increasing adoption of such practices in the urban and industrial sectors in India, they are rare in the food and agriculture sector.  

Resilience essential

The Maharashtra 2030 WRG Multi-Stakeholder Platform’s work-stream on livelihood enhancement in rain-fed agriculture was developed in recognition of the need to explore wastewater reuse in the agriculture sector. Such an effort is strategic given the need to create water security and to ensure favorable water allocations in the agriculture sector where resilience in both rain-fed and irrigated agriculture is essential. 

Resource to be harnessed

Across the globe, a variety of sectors are starting to experiment with wastewater recycling and reuse, albeit with varying degrees of success. A global shift in perception has taken place, where wastewater was seen as a costly byproduct, and now recognized as a resource to be harnessed. Global best practices from Australia and Israel are testimonials to this encouraging trend.

 

For more details, get in touch with the Maharashtra 2030 WRG team: Mahesh Patankar, email: mpatankar@worldbank.org.

Bridging the Gap Between Irrigation Financing Supply and Demand in Tanzania

The farms of small and emerging farmers in Tanzania consistently underperform due to the lack of access to technology and financing. In Tanzania, where many small and emerging farmers still practice rainfed agriculture, access to irrigation technologies and financing could be the key that unlocks their farms’ full potential.   

The Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform (KWSP) and the Great Ruaha Restoration Campaign (GRRC), two catchment-level partnerships established with the support of the 2030 WRG Tanzania to catalyze multi-stakeholder solutions to encourage and improve sustainable water use among small and emerging farmers in Tanzania, together identified the need to improve coordination among farmers so that they can better take advantage of existing supply-side solutions.   

Understanding obstacles to financing 

As a follow-up, Tanzania 2030 WRG together with KWSP and GRRC commissioned a study to better understand the irrigation financing needs of small and emerging farmers in Tanzania, as well as the obstacles that prevent them from obtaining such financing.   

The study found that despite strong interest in irrigation financing from the farmers, farmers themselves lack the qualities of a credible investee. They are ill-equipped to conduct comprehensive business planning, identify appropriate sources of finance, prepare compelling financing proposals, and negotiate loan terms.   

Financier constraints 

On the supply-side, the high costs of identifying investment-ready farmers are a key constraint for financiers that want to provide irrigation financing to small and emerging farmers.  

The study also found that even when the above-mentioned barriers have been addressed, such investments require a high degree of confidence in the market. A such, strong sales records or offtake agreements with buyers and processors are therefore also needed.   

Align to public sector efforts 

Lastly, any opportunity can only be exploited when critical infrastructure such as bulk water supply, access roads, and power sources are in place. Business development in this sector therefore needs to align to public sector efforts to develop and maintain necessary infrastructure.  

Taken together, these challenges amount to a coordination failure that ultimately prevents smallholder farmers from accessing existing technology and financing.   

To help overcome these barriers the Tanzania 2030 WRG partnership is working together with KWSP and GRRC partnership to develop a portfolio of irrigation projects matching existing financing mechanisms. Among them, a USD $5 million allocation from Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) under its Rural Innovation Fund (RIF) program. The project aims to reduce coordination and transaction costs by leveraging 2030 WRG’s extensive network of public and private stakeholders to identify, prioritize, incubate, and package irrigation financing opportunities that meet the requirements of funding sources.  

Increasing productivity and abstracting less water 

The proposed project would incubate 30 irrigation projects, each targeting 100 farmers, over a three-year period. It is expected that farmers reached would increase their productivity by 30 percent while simultaneously decreasing water abstraction by 50 percent.   

The partnership aims to test the model at the sub-national level with the intention of a subsequent national rollout. To that end, it has already kicked off discussions with relevant partners about ways to implement this model within their domains.  

 

A New Chapter for Kenya 2030 WRG

Following on the heels of 2030 Water Resources Group’s host transition from the International Finance Corporation to the World Bank Group Water Global Practice this year, the Kenya 2030 WRG Governing Board welcomed Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Simon Chelugui, as its new Ministerial Co-Chair.

Hon. Chelugui—who is replacing the former Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Eugene Wamalwa—joins Mr. Vimal Shah, Chair BIDCO Africa, in providing leadership to the Board. During the Board’s first bi-annual meeting on April 11, 2018 in Nairobi, Hon. Simon Chelugui initiated his new appointment by emphasizing the critical role of champions in developing sustainable solutions to the country’s water challenges. According to him, the severity of Kenya’s water scarcity makes the role of champions that much more important.

The Kenya 2030 WRG Governing Board also welcomed Mrs. Helene Carlsson Rex as a new member during the meeting. Mrs. Rex—who represents the Kenya Country Management Unit (CMU)—echoed Hon. Simon Chelugui’s sentiments, and spoke about the value of convening key decision makers from both the private and public sectors alongside civil society. Mrs. Rex also shared about the World Bank Group’s strategy to maximize finance for development, which calls for the crowding in of the private sector to address challenges that neither the public sector or the development community can solve on their own.

During this event, the Board endorsed a working group to address coordination among the increasing number of multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs) in Kenya. Eng. Mike Thomas, 2030 WRG Consultant, presented the preliminary results of a study commissioned to explore the value of MSPs in water resource management and their experience so far, and provided a few preliminary recommendations.

The report identified four potential areas of intervention: (i) linkages between Basin Water Resources Committees and MSPs; (ii) development of sustainable financing models, including targeted initiatives by the Government of Kenya; (iii) policy & legislative recognition; and (iv) pathways to multi-stakeholder partnership registration.

Initial participants in the working group include: (i) Directorate of Water Resources Management at the Ministry of Water; (ii) Kenya Water Towers; (iii) Water Resources Authority; (iv) Water Sector Trust Fund; (v) the National Irrigation Board; (vi) Kenya Water Partnership; and (vii) the Mount Kenya-Ewaso Water Partnership.

 

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT – Stark Global Water Report Triggers New Collaboration among Global Partnerships

In the face of profound global water challenges, on World Water Day five global multi-stakeholder partnerships representing business, governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, and civil society organizations announced a new collaboration effort designed to accelerate progress toward ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation around the world.

The partnership was catalyzed by the discussions at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia, including the Citizens Forum and Sustainability Focus Group, and the High-Level Panel on Water report, “Making Every Drop Count”. The report says if the world continues on its current path, it may face a 40 percent shortfall in water availability by 2030. Health, food security, energy sustainability, jobs, cities, and ecosystems are increasingly at risk due to exacerbating natural variability of the water cycle and growing water stress.

The World Bank Water Global Practice, 2030 Water Resources Group, Global Water Partnership, World Water Council, and UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate commit to coordinate a set of actions toward increased water security. Water security underpins economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability.

  • Making Every Drop Count reportThe Making Every Drop Count report also finds:
  • 40 percent of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity
  • As many as 700 million people could be displaced by 2030 in search for water
  • More than 2 billion people are compelled to drink unsafe water
  • 4.5 billion people do not have access to safely managed sanitation

Aiming to find collaborative solutions to better manage and value water, the global multi-stakeholder partnerships will explore how to more effectively coordinate and align their efforts toward the urgent goal of water security, in line with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

On World Water Day 2018, the organizations agreed to:

Take into account the outcomes of the 8th World Water Forum, proposed by the various political, thematic, regional, citizen, and sustainability processes

Endorse the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) “Making Every Drop Count”

Recognize the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 17) that promotes partnerships as a key means of implementation of the 2030 development agenda – in particular for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals calling for a Water Secure World (SDG6)

Commit to convene a series of discussions between the leaders of the organizations, starting in August 2018

Explore and agree on pathways towards improving global coordination and collaboration among these and other organizations, in view of accelerating progress towards a water-secure world

# # #

“Through this partnership, the World Bank Group aims to build an alliance of committed stakeholders to catalyze change and implement the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Water. The goal of global water security requires an urgent coordinated response amongst dedicated international development organizations.”
Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director, World Bank Water Global Practice

“The World Water Council is pleased to offer its expertise in gathering stakeholders from every horizon to mobilize political will and catalyze positive action for the cause of water. We are stronger together than we are individually, and joining our voices gives new inspiration and opportunity to accelerate and enforce our efforts towards an integrated agenda at the global, regional and local levels.”
Benedito Braga, President, World Water Council

“The Global Water Partnership is prepared to offer its on-the-ground multi-stakeholder networks to advance better water governance. It is time for policy makers to make SDG6 implementation a top priority.”
Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, Chair, Global Water Partnership

“2030 WRG is committed to this global framework. Contributing to sustainable implementation models at scale, we will leverage our country partners, particularly private sector, as key collaborators in this effort.”
Karin Krchnak, Program Manager, 2030 Water Resources Group/World Bank Group

“Water challenges pose critical risks to businesses, governments, and communities alike. The only way we can tackle them is by deepening our collaboration within the water sector.”
Jason Morrison, Head, CEO Water Mandate

 

 

LINKS

High Level Panel on Water Outcome report ‘Making every drop count’

Open letter to global leaders

HLPW video inspires the world

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MEDIA CONTACTS

World Water Council
Nicolás Eliades
Communications Coordinator, a.i.
Office: +061991900564
Email: communication@worldwatercouncil.org
www.worldwatercouncil.org

Global Water Partnership
Steven Downey
Head of Communications
Office: +46 8 1213 8640, Mobile: +46 76 677 8640
Email: steven.downey@gwp.org
www.gwp.org

CEO Water Mandate
Rebecca Olson
Communications Manager
Office: (510) 251-1600 ext. 117
Email: rolson@pacinst.org
www.ceowatermandate.org

2030 Water Resources Group/World Bank Water Global Practice
Alida Pham
Communications Officer
Office: +1 202 4733272 Mobile: +1 202 823 6896
Email: apham4@worldbank.org
www.2030wrg.org

Join us at the 8th World Water Forum

centro_convencoes_foto_Toninho_Tavares

The 8th World Water Forum will be held from 18 to 23 March 2018, in Brasilia, Brazil.
Join our sessions, pop by the booth to pick up some new publications and chat with some of our colleagues.

Day of the week Time Session Who
Sunday, March 18 (09:30-20:00 Water Business Day)
14:00-17:00 The Circular Business Case for WAter Karin Krchnak (moderating)
Monday, March 19
17:00-20:00 Ministerial Roundtable Discussion on People Karin Krchnak (moderating)
17:00-20:00 Antea Group brainstorming session on how
to mitigate risks to sustainable business
Rochi Khemka
16:45 UN Global Compact Collective Action Day (side-event):
Roundtable on Collaboration for Water Security in Brazil
Stela Goldenstein (moderating)
Tuesday, March 20
11:00-12:30 High-Level Panel on Water Special Session Karin Krchnak (attending)
14:30-16:00 Water & Green Growth: Accelerating the Green Transition for All Karin Krchnak (presenting)
17:00-18:00 Conference of Judges and Prosecutors: Water Justice and Forests: Scientific, Ethical, Legal and Policy Perspectives Karin Krchnak (presenting)
Wednesday, March 21
11:00-12:00 International Water Stewardship Standard Karin Krchnak (presenting)
16:30-18:00 People, Science and Governments: Towards Inclusive Knowledge Co-generation for Water and Climate Goals Karin Krchnak (presenting)
Thursday, March 22 (World Water Day)
09:00-10:30 Water-use efficiency and sustainable withdrawals: coping with water scarcity Rochi Khemka and Stela Goldenstein (presenting and coordinating)
11:00-12:30 International Cooperation as key factor to address the Water and Climate Relationship Karin Krchnak (presenting)
14:30-18:00 Sustainability at the 8th World water Forum Karin Krchnak (presenting)
17:00-18:00 2030 WRG Apéro at the Swiss Water Partnership Pavilion
Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Innovation and Impact
2030 WRG Team

World Bank Group Sessions and Side Events
(click on the image below)

WWF8_Postcard

World Bank Group joint booth (Expo hall: E20B)

Image Booth E20B Booth Location Brazil

Questions?

Please contact Alida Pham, 2030 WRG Communications Officer (apham4@ifc.org)

2030 WRG Governing Council meeting calls for scaling up

Impression of the making of the Annual Meeting 2011 of the World Economic Forum in Davos

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND,
Copyright by World Economic Forum
swiss-image.ch/Photo by Jolanda Flubacher

Davos, Switzerland. January 2018 – The 2030 WRG Governing Council came together in snow-covered Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum Annual Meetings to discuss the program’s 2017 progress, results and path forward.

Paul Bulcke, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nestlé, initiated his co-chairmanship of 2030 WRG by highlighting the recently launched World Economic Forum Global Risk Report in which water has remained the common denominator for many years in a row. He emphasized that water security remains a precondition to the successful resolution of other pressing development issues. Mr. Bulcke remarked on the scale of the water challenges facing us today and emphasized that ideas are needed to be able to operationalize multi-stakeholder partnerships at scale while aligning commitments and targets with ambitions.

Hosting by the World Bank
Karin Krchnak was introduced as the new 2030 WRG Program Manager, stationed in the World Bank in Washington, DC. The World Bank Water Global Practice Senior Director Guangzhe Chen presented on the World Bank’s priorities, and outlined the opportunities for synergies and collaboration with 2030 WRG and its partners going forward.

The Governing Council members acknowledged the efforts of the IFC and the Water GP team in managing the transition of the 2030 WRG from the IFC to the World Bank, and thanked Anders Berntell for his leadership over the last six years.

Opportunities for synergies and collaboration
Elsa Galarza, Minister of Environment of Peru, elaborated on 2030 WRG’s support to the government’s water strategy and spoke about the importance of a neutral platform that engages all actors in the water debate. She highlighted the Taxes for Projects initiative as a good example of a concrete multi-stakeholder partnership that leads to concrete results.

Academic review by the Harvard Kennedy School
Jane Nelson, Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative (CRI) at the Harvard Kennedy School, presented on the Harvard Kennedy School CRI case study on 2030 WRG, commissioned by Coca Cola. In this first academic analysis of the 2030 WRG approach, the 2030 WRG’s multi-stakeholder institutional model is outlined along with five first lessons relevant for leaders working on water security and other complex, systemic challenges.

Scaling up
Participants reviewed the state of play of 2030 WRG activities. In 2017, 2030 WRG brought together 642 partners in 46 working groups in 14 countries/states. Together, 72 priority areas have been agreed and 83 concept notes developed to concretize those areas. To date, 67 proposals have been developed, preparatory arrangements for 58 of these proposals have been elaborated, and 53 of these are being implemented on the ground.

Participants agreed that scaling up with ambition includes paying closer attention to transboundary issues, transcending sectors and expanding 2030 WRG’s geographical spread to include the poorest countries, where needs are extremely high. Following the meeting, discussions were held with partners who may be interested in joining 2030 WRG.

Aligning efforts and seeking synergies in Mexico

Mexico_JaliscoMexico City, March, 2018 – A 2030 WRG delegation recently traveled to Mexico to meet with the World Bank Group country team in Mexico, and other relevant stakeholders. The delegation included new 2030 WRG Program Manager, Karin Krchnak, 2030WRG Mexico Representative, Roman Gomez Gonzalez Cosio, and 2030 WRG LAC Regional Head, Cesar Fernando Fonseca Sarmiento.

The meetings included discussions with the World Bank team in Mexico to align our strategy, coordinate and foster synergies with stakeholders and partners, as well as meeting with IFC counterparts to discuss joint efforts to develop PPPs in the agri-water sector. The study on PPPs for Agri-water was also the focus of the team’s meeting with CONAGUA.

The team also met with Jesus Reyes Heroles, President of Consejo Consultivo del Agua (CCA), a multi-stakeholder water advisory council, to discuss the CCA working groups that 2030 WRG is supporting.

This includes the Green Infrastructure Solutions Initiative, focused on developing the business case for green infrastructure solutions and identifying barriers and opportunities for implementation. The Initiative plans to organize a best practice exchange workshop in mid-2018. Representatives of the working group on Water Security and Legal Certainty Risks Integration in the Industrial Sector discussed the value of water security and legal certainty risks integration. The team also met with private sector stakeholders to discuss potential areas of collaboration in the area of strengthening water governance systems.

Another area of focus has been concern regarding increasing groundwater overexploitation and pollution in the region of Toluca. 2030 WRG has been working with CONAGUA, CEVAT and the Rio Lerma Commission to reestablish and then strengthen this multi-stakeholder groundwater management committee and to support sustainable groundwater management.  The Toluca Metropolitan region is also severely polluted and 2030 WRG has identified the opportunity to incorporate integrated wastewater management. 2030 WRG will align its efforts with existing initiatives in Water Resilience and Integrated Urban Water Resources in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Toluca, and will seek to coordinate also with World Bank Water GP and IFC in particular to develop synergies in groundwater management, resilience and integrated wastewater management.

 

 

Brainstorming sessions on Water for Growth and Transformation in Ethiopia

Ethiopia Brainstorming Sessions_Nov17Addis Ababa, November 9, 2017 – The 2030 WRG team in Ethiopia has recently held two brainstorming sessions, entitled Water for Agriculture’ and ‘Water for Industrialization’. The meetings were conducted as part of a series of consultative meetings with potential public, private and civil society partners in anticipation of the establishment of a national Ethiopia 2030 WRG multi-stakeholder partnership.

The sessions were well-attended by active industry practitioners from Ethiopia’s water sector. Ideas to accelerate water use efficiency were explored as well as water productivity improvements in the agricultural and industrial sector. The findings of the brainstorming sessions will be used as input for an upcoming hydro-economic analysis for Ethiopia.

The analysis will support partners in identifying and aligning joint initiatives towards sustainable water resources management goals, thereby enabling long term economic growth. It will include an overview of the Ethiopian water context, to be used by policy makers for high-level decision making, and will define concrete roles and investment opportunities for the private sector.

The sessions were attended by the following stakeholders:

Agriculture: Moyee Coffee, Ethiopian Cotton Producers and Exporters Association, Ethiopian Sugar Cooperation, AfriFlora/SHER, Ethiopian Horticulture Producers and Exporters Association, Grundfos, Larive/Shayashone, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Solidaridad, Dutch Water Authorities, Abay River Basin Authority, Awash River Basin Authority, Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity.

Industry: IWaSP, Diagio/Meta Brewery, Yirgalem Addis Textiles Factory, Ethiopian Development Textile Institute, Vitens Evidens International, The Dow Chemical Company, Arvind, H&M, Grundfos, Dutch Water Authorities, Abay River Basin Authority, Awash River Basin Authority

In an effort to further expand 2030 WRG’s reach beyond its current scope, the Governing Council members agreed at a meeting in January 2016, to scout other potential countries where our partnerships could help countries achieve a water-secure future. As a result, a short scoping assessment was held mid-2016, to map existing stakeholders, assess the political economy and willingness of government to engage with the private sector. Following this successful mission and an official invitation by the Ethiopian government, a hands-on team was recruited to set-up and roll out the 2030 WRG program in Ethiopia.

Blog: Could linking farmers to markets be the answer to poverty reduction?

 

Sugarcane_2030WRG_ARcover

Sugarcane field

By 2050, we will need to increase food production by 100% to feed expanding populations in developing countries. This is either from more farmers producing more food or, the same number of farmers producing more food. Enhancing farmer incomes by increased agricultural productivity will reduce migration to urban areas and ultimately, improve food security. But without assured buyers for the produce, this may not necessarily be the case.

I recently visited sugarcane farmers in western Maharashtra in India to learn why they continue to grow sugarcane although it is a water intensive crop. Turns out, sugarcane is resistant to most pests, needs little care and has a well-established supply chain. Given that the crop has an assured buyer in sugar factories, farmers have little to worry about their household income from agriculture. Even if a farmer has a meagre 2 hectares of land, he prefers growing sugarcane as it has a guaranteed return on investment. This makes it difficult for the farmer to give up the crop. At present, Maharashtra accounts for 34% of the national sugar output. Consequently, several government schemes and initiatives are designed to make sugarcane more water productive i.e. shifting from flood to drip irrigation, and improving sugarcane productivity. Currently, average sugarcane yield in Maharashtra is approximately 60 to 80 tonnes per hectare whereas its yields can potentially increase to 100 to 120 tonnes per hectare.

On the other hand, focusing on a particular crop might not always lead to positive outcomes. Farmers in drought prone district of Yavatmal in eastern Maharashtra had a different story to tell. Cotton, a dominant crop in this region was infested by the pink ball worm in the last season (2017-18). As a result, farmers faced several losses and did not receive the expected price in the market. Several women farmers organized themselves into self-help groups with the aim of supporting family income due to the losses incurred. But lack of market connectivity dissuaded them from taking actions to develop products such as baskets, papadums, jams, etc. Limited market access and low selling opportunities prevented them from contributing to the household income which could have compensated for the losses they realized through the ravaged cotton crop.

Linking farmers to the markets may help them move out of poverty by assured buyers for their produce and guaranteed income – giving a greater sense of security. Although establishing market linkages may take time, initiatives such as the new model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act 2017, the government is keen on looking at agricultural marketing from a holistic manner. This is while giving farmers the opportunity to directly sell produce in the market or to whoever is willing to offer the best price without an intermediary. Organizations such as the International Finance Corporation is exploring innovative ways to unlock private sector investments and offer advisory services that help mobilize markets. The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG), hosted by the World Bank, is bringing together public, private and civil society representatives to deliberate and discuss new business models and market-based solutions to support an end-to-end integrated approach for agriculture development, with a focus on water security.

In an effort to bring farmers closer to the market, in Karnataka in the Ramthal area, 2030 WRG facilitated partnership agreements between agribusiness companies (retailers, exporters, processing units) and Government of Karnataka for offtake of high-value agricultural and horticultural produce, thereby improving farmer incomes and livelihoods. Similar efforts are being carried out by 2030 WRG in western Maharashtra to maximize water productivity and improve market linkages for farmers.

Finding new ways to connect smallholder farmers to the market is critical for poverty reduction and improved livelihoods. It can also stem the flow of farmers to urban areas in search of better jobs and transform the rural environment as a place of production and value addition. Although realizing the vision will require a more collaborative effort from the government, private sector, civil society and rural communities, its results will be far outreaching.

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Karishma_Blog_photoThis blog was written by Karishma Gupte, Coordinator, Maharashtra, 2030 Water Resources Group, The World Bank Group

 

 

 

 

Further reading:

https://www.2030wrg.org/government-of-maharashtra-partners-with-2030wrg-to-launch-the-states-first-multi-stakeholder-platform-for-transformative-solutions-in-water-resources-management/

http://cacp.dacnet.nic.in/ViewReports.aspx?Input=2&PageId=41&KeyId=425

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/WghTT1mlNTFSV7FcNQuCSO/Maharashtra-stares-at-2740-shortfall-in-sugar-yield-in-201.html

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/pink-bollworm-tears-into-the-very-fibre-of-maharashtras-cotton-growers/article9969934.ece