Project final report

Transforming smallholder irrigation into profitable and self-sustaining systems in southern Africa - Final Report

Date released
22 February 2024
Publication Code

Jamie Pittock, Peter Ramshaw, Miguel Tafula, Delfim Vilissa, Wilson de Sousa, Makarius Mdemu, Emmanuel Kimaro, Luitfred Kissoly, Sophia Bongole, Martin Moyo, Andre van Rooyen, Thabani Dube, Henning Bjornlund, Karen Parry, Suwilanji Sinyangwe, Sithembile Mwamakamba, Tshilidzi Madzivhandila, and Njongenhle Nyoni


This project aimed to improve the sustainability and profitability of smallholder irrigated agriculture across 3 nations in southern Africa.

The research explored how to expand successful interventions using user-friendly water monitoring tools and Agricultural Innovation Platforms (AIPs) in irrigation schemes to reach more schemes and levels of governance. This was achieved by strengthening the skills of farmers, government, and private sector organisations.

Some key achievements included the establishment of 12 district Agricultural Innovation Platforms, creating a range of guides on using simple soil and water monitoring tools to benefit irrigators on a large scale, documenting processes to better represent women, the young, and tail-end farmers in decision-making, and facilitating their access to land, water, and new technology.

View the project page