The CGIAR Research Programme on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) explores the possibilities of sustainable intensification of agriculture through a multidisciplinary approach focused on ecosystems. This involves the establishment of research for development in various regions of Africa in order to provide a body of knowledge and innovative products to users. One of the components of the programme is to manage water and food production systems which adapt but also continue the development of techniques for manage water reservoirs and small, locally and across the basin in order to improve agricultural production and the income of poor rural families and to improve the resilience of agro-ecosystems in arid areas of Burkina Faso and Northern Ghana (Volta Basin), with an expansion in Niger and Mali.
The "Targeting agricultural innovation and ecosystem services management in the Northern Volta" (TAI/WLE) project has as central objective to research and identify how small reservoirs and agricultural interventions around small water tanks can sustainably improve agricultural productivity and resilience of smallholder farmers in the Volta Basin.
Specifically, the TAI/WLE project aims to answer these questions:
- What interventions around dams can alter the availability of irrigation water and resilience of biophysical production shocks (floods, diseases, droughts)?
- How producers, communities and institutions make decisions regarding the adoption and maintenance of interventions?
- What are the constraints to the adoption and sustainable use of the results of the interventions?
- How these interventions are changing the spatial distribution, quantity and quality of ecosystem services that support the agro-forestry-pastoral production?
- How these interventions and associated changes in ecosystem services affect the distribution and availability of water for irrigation and productivity of dams?
- Who benefits and who loses from these changes in the availability of irrigation water and productivity of dams?
- How the institutions and governance of land and water policies promote or limit access to the benefits generated by ecosystem services?