Co-innovations across scales to enhance sustainable intensification, resilience, and food and nutritional security in water-managed agricultural systems in West Africa

Applicant from the Netherlands: Iwan Supit (Wageningen University & Research (WUR)


The irrigated and improved lowland agricultural systems are not resulting neither in a significant increase in resilience and food security for smallholders nor in a motor for economic growth in West Africa (WA). However, the potential benefits of water-managed agricultural systems are enormous in WA. Irrigated agriculture increases cropping intensity, diversity and productivity; contributes to develop food markets and agroindustry; and generates employment; conversely, it has environmental implications. It is hypothesized here that Sustainable Intensification (SI) of watermanaged agricultural systems is the pathway to a new, dynamic, inclusive, market-oriented, technology-based agriculture. SI is not achieved through stand-alone technology but by combining technologies and governance to design productions systems that are best adapted to local conditions. The consortium, integrated by five African institutions (SARI and UDS, in Ghana, ISRA and UGB in Senegal, and INERA in Burkina Faso), five European institutions (IRD and CIRAD in France, WUR in The Netherlands, CIHEAM-Bari in Italy, and CSIC in Spain, the coordinator), and five associate partners (CILSS, AECID and three companies), envisions SI as the springboard that will transform irrigation and lowland communities into resilient, food-secure communities improving their wellbeing through economic growth. The project aspires to change the development paradigm for irrigated and other water-managed agricultures in WA and identify environmental-friendly systems in WA and Spain. The identification of current performance gaps and benchmarks and of a new set of SI solutions will be followed by co-innovation within the project innovation hubs, working simultaneously at different scales (from plot to scheme/improved lowland system). These hubs, where women and youth will be preferred target adopters, will catalyze the change in their respective areas of influence, with a multiplier effect supported by an ICT platform.


Publications for the general public

  • H Gomez Mcpherson(2018): Kick-off meeting report Senegal


Project number

W 09.03.101

Team members

E. Nyadzi, Dr. ir. E.J.J. van Slobbe, I. Supit, Dr. S.E. Werners

Link to home page LEAP-Agri