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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Developing farmer-led irrigation solutions

This 5-minute talk by Kate Scow in 2016 explains this project's focus on irrigation for dry-season vegetable production and participatory innovation processes with farmers in Uganda. You can also view this on YouTube.


Uganda: Innovating irrigation solutions

Project Title: Horticulture Irrigation Project (HIP): Innovations in Dry Season Horticulture for Women and Smallholders in East Africa for income, nutrition, and climate resilience

Target Country: Uganda

Principal Investigator: Kate Scow, University of California, Davis


Project Description

Dry season vegetable production has been identified as a high priority in Uganda's largely rainfed (>97%) agricultural systems. Off-season vegetable supplies are currently inadequate to meet human nutritional needs. As rainfall patterns become increasingly unpredictable and rapid population expansion places more pressure on food systems, demand for vegetables will further outstrip supplies.

This spin-off project builds on the team’s previous participatory work in Uganda to convene stakeholders to develop innovations in small-scale, dry-season vegetable production for women farmers in East Africa. We will develop a research and development approach that will test irrigation innovations at sites in Eastern Uganda and create a framework for local public- and private-sector organizations to develop small-scale irrigation systems.

We will work closely with smallholder women farmers who are often excluded from irrigation and marketing developments. We will:

  1. work at five locations over three dry seasons to test dry-season vegetable production systems with farmers, research partners, district staff, NGO partners, and university students;
  2. assess agronomic, economic, market, nutrition, and gender impacts of the innovations; and
  3. develop scale-out options for the most promising technologies.

Development of a systematic, co-innovation approach for assessing and supporting new ideas in dry-season vegetable production will strengthen small-scale farmer enterprises targeted to local markets and family consumption.

Project updates: