Home | TheWaterBlog

TheWaterBlog: If you want to share unique images and observations in this section, or would like to know about syndicating these posts, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

 

Women farmers and water productivity

Postcard from Nanyuki, Kenya.

Smart water techniques encompass by now a rich variety of measures – water storage, micro-irrigation, greenhouses, soil improvers, food storages.  Several of these are now within easy reach of small holders – low cost sprinklers for instance or lay-flat hoses can be had from many rural shops. Other are getting there such as improved water storage tanks. A quiet gradual revolution is taking place with small farmers moving away from staple crops to high value crops, using different smart technologies, sometimes with credit from banks. Farming becomes less tedious – in fact it becomes ‘agribusiness’, attractive again for young people who were abandoning farming in pursuit of uncertain faraway jobs

The smart techniques embody a move to higher water productivity – creating more value per volume of water consumed. They make it possible to move into a new style of farming – with more secure yields, less damage and more uniform products, catering for the urban markets..

Smart water techniques also have another effect – that of opening agriculture as a business to groups who were finding it less hard to find a place in it– in particular women.  Water productivity solutions make farming less tedious and more rewarding

Here is the story of Jane from  Ngare-Ndare in Nanyuki in Kenya. Now in her twenties she had a good education as a laboratory analyst, but she was not able to find work. Instead she worked in restaurants, but pay was low and work tedious. Her gifts were her long distance running skills though. She entered into several competitions and then she won her first marathon. Her success in athletics earned her a few thousand dollar as price money.  What she did was to use this kitty to purchase her own one acre plot at Ngare-Ndare and – she then decided to use that to go farming, developing a tank feeding micro-sprinklers. With the smart water techniques she is growing French beans for a food company and some smaller crops for the market. In her own assessment the income she makes is more than triple of what she earned before and the work is pleasant and healthy.  It is farming rediscovered – not the back breaking work of the past but Kenya style precision farming. Agriculture was always largest employer and still should figure largely in the future of job creation.

 

This case is prepared as part of the Water-PiP (Water Productivity in Practice) Program. Water-PIP aims to support a 25% water productivity on the ground.  For ideas and suggestions on improved water productivity, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                                                      

  • Avocado for export: who reaps the fruits? A case for social water productivity

    Avocado for export: who reaps the fruits?  A case for social water productivityHere is a main question. If water is one of your main assets, by who and for who is the asset used and who is benefitting from the use of this asset? Does the added value leave the rural area, even leave the country or does it go the hands of local farmers – who may circulate it in their local economy.  Who get what...

    Read more

  • River Reappear

    River ReappearPostcard from Kulna, BangladeshBy Frank van steenbergen, July,2018There are many ways that time is making its mark. In coastal Bangladesh it is the steady intensification of everything – communication, land use, sounds, aspirations, ambitions, business. These were areas that no so long ago, say 70 years – in the life time of a man – were wild coastal flat lands, gradually captu...

    Read more

  • Managing soil moisture: the waterpads in Turkey

    Managing soil moisture: the waterpads in TurkeyThe key to better water productivity is often not through managing water as such but by taking better care of soil moisture. There is a range of techniques that promote this – conservation agriculture, mulching and the use of special soil improvers.  These techniques secure moisture for the roots of the plants in the critical growing season, but th...

    Read more

  • Water rich and more water productive: transformation in coastal Bangladesh

    Water rich and more water productive: transformation in coastal BangladeshMultiple cropping in coastal Bangladesh. The improved amon variety largely harvested and land ready for irrigated dry season cultivation.Whereas we may think that improving water productivity is only required in water scarce environments, it is just as important in areas that are water rich.  In such settings water producti...

    Read more

  • Its Own Deep Source

    Its Own Deep SourceBy Frank van Steenbergen, June 2018The austere beauty of the Kairouan Grand Mosque in Tunisia harbors a gracious secret. The mosque is one of the first in North Africa and one of the most important in terms of the learning it hosted. It reached its grandeur under the rule of Aghlabid sovereigns between 800 and 903.Measuring 9000 square meters it is surrounded by a wall with nine...

    Read more

  • Elixir

    ElixirBy Letty Fajardo Vera and Frank van Steenbergen, May 2018Early in the morning delicate bitter orange blossom is harvested, carefully by hand. The fragrance in the blossom at daybreak is most poignant, the dust and heat of the day have not yet worn it away.  The same day the blossom is steamed in simple distillation installations. The vapour is cooled and collected. And so, as simple as that...

    Read more

  • Hydraulic World Wonders: the Aghlabid Pools

    Hydraulic World Wonders: The Aghlabid PoolsBy Frank van Steenbergen, May, 2018 Picture from the Aghlabid Pools and small intake pond .Postcard from Kairouan, Tunisia - from the Aghlabid Pools, among the world wonders of hydraulic engineering. The pools were built in the 9th century under orders of Prince Abu Ibrahim Ahmad of the relatively short-lived but powerful Aghlabid Dynasty (800 to 909). T...

    Read more

  • Fodder production with road water harvesting in African drylands

    Fodder production with road water harvesting in African drylandsPosted by Kevin Mganga May 22/05/2018Drylands provide a vital livelihood stream to people across the globe through a range of goods, products and ecosystems services. These arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) are characteristically very fragile and are facing increased land use and land use change pressure compounded by high climate va...

    Read more

  • Ingenuity: ancient water harvesting in the Altiplano of Bolivia

    Ingenuity: ancient water harvesting in the Altiplano of BoliviaPosted by Francesco Sambalino and Martha AgujetasMay 22/05/2018Water scarcity is not new to many people and for many it is way of life and survival. Here is an example: the inhabitants of the Bolivian altiplano who have lived and thrived despite this struggle for millennia. The altiplano consists of a high plateau located between 3.650...

    Read more

  • The Tube recharge system

    The Tube recharge systemOur Earth has no scarcity of water and hence the name “the blue planet”. But ironically less than 3% of all water on earth is fresh water and even less is readily available for use. A big chunk of the “usable” fresh water, about 30%, is stored in the belly of the earth as groundwater. Figure 2 shows the amount of groundwater in comparison with surface fresh water in...

    Read more