IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE - WATER-TO-MARKET
The Water-to-Market Activity will ensure that MCC Funding of the Irrigation Infrastructure Activity contributes to sustained increases in agricultural productivity and incomes through a combination of training, technical assistance, access to credit and essential equipment for farmers in the irrigation zones rehabilitated under the Program.
One of the Water-to-Market sub-activities is institutional strengthening. While not a part of the Water-to-Market Activity's Consultant company's responsibilities, the strengthening of Water User Associations(WUA), the development of a WUA Federation and support to reforms in the Water Supply Agency are important elements on the overall program for greater efficiency in water supply and use. The membership of the 53 WUAs constitutes the target group of farmers for the other sub-activities, and periodic consultation between the Consultant and the Irrigation PIU will be expected to ensure the coordination of project activities.
During the implementation process of this Activity introduction of new on-farm water management technologies is planned. The objective of this sub-activity is to improve member farmers' skills in water management techniques and their access to farm-level equipment to enhance the efficiency of water use in irrigation. Training and demonstrations in these respects are expected to be provided for 60,000 farmers, of whom approximately 38,000 will be expected to adopt water saving and productivity innovations that will increase the net benefit to their farming operations.
The objective of the transition to higher value agriculture is to support the transition to more profitable agricultural production through a combination of crop substitution, increased cropping intensity and more productive livestock activities. The Water-to-Market Activity's Consultant company will train 30,000 farmers who are expected to have access to demonstrations to increase the commercial value of their farm output. The training will focus on mitigating the attendant risks of commercial agriculture through demonstration, training, staggered development and follow-up as well as links to markets through Sub-Activity 4. By the end of the Compact, it is expected that approximately 7,800 hectares will be converted into higher-value agricultural cultivation as a result of increased access to water combined with an effective training program.
One of the Water-to-Market Activity's aims is to introduce and expand post-harvest operations, processing and marketing. This will help to best preserve the quality of agriculture products and add value to production. When combined with reliable information on market conditions and opportunities, this will contribute to the better positioning of fresh and processed food products in the domestic, regional and international markets. Food safety and quality assurance considerations such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point and International Standards Organization certification will also be addressed through this sub-activity. It is expected that by end of the compact these activities will impact 300 agribusiness associations and SMEs directly and 15,000 producers indirectly.
One of the Water-to-Market's sub-activities is increasing the availability of longer-term credits to Water-to-Market beneficiaries. Improved irrigation and rural roads will present new opportunities for farmers and agricultural related businesses. Improved access to credit will allow these beneficiaries to obtain financing for investments which will take advantage of these opportunities. It is anticipated that by the end of the compact the availability of longer-term financing in rural areas will have risen sharply, and that the cost of this credit will have declined significantly.
Institutional Strengthening Sub-Activity
Baseline Report on the Farming Practices Survey
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Quarterly Bulletin #13
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Partnership for Clean Irrigation Water