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Strengthening agricultural water efficiency and productivity on the African and global level. Status, performance and scope assessment of water harvesting in Uganda, Burkina Faso and Morocco

Judicious combinations of high-performing water-harvesting techniques can increase yields in rain-fed farming areas and provide farmers with an important buffer against climate change, according to an assessment released today by FAO of 42 water-harvesting practices in Burkina Faso, Morocco and Uganda.  

The assessment has been released ahead of the launch later this week at the UN conference on climate change of a global FAO-led initiative to address water scarcity in agriculture. 

The assessment outlined in this report forms part of the ‘Strengthening Agricultural Water Efficiency and Productivity on the African and Global Level’ project, which aims at reducing hunger and poverty in three African countries (Burkina Faso, Morocco and Uganda) by focusing on the improvement of AWM and mainstreaming AWM in national frameworks and processes. In particular, this report contributes to Output 3 of the project: Enhanced water harvesting capacity for agriculture in Burkina Faso, Morocco and Uganda.
This assessment targets agricultural water extension agents and technical experts, providing them with clear indications on how to improve WH capacity for agricultural production in the three case study countries, as well as how to select feasible and suited WH techniques for different geographical areas. It is an assessment of the status, performance and scope for improving WH for agriculture in the three countries and provides a portfolio of technologies with their suitability and feasible application to countries’ conditions.
This report summaries the assessment of 42 WH best practices across the three case study countries using Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA). Each of the selected WH techniques is already extensively applied or has potential to be applied in Uganda, Burkina Faso and/or Morocco.

The objectives of the detailed assessment of WH technologies in the three countries are:
• To present a number of WH practices, both already existing in the three countries as well as others implemented in other countries, their main features, benefits and limitations
• To evaluate their performance with respect to several biophysical, technical, and socioeconomic criteria
• To guide decisions on the choice of a single or a combination of several WH techniques that show positive impacts on the environment, socio-economic development, and agricultural productivity and profitability.