Challenge Programme on Water & Food

GWPSA is supporting a promising initiative that has combined learning for innovation and adaptive management through the work of the second phase of the Challenge Programme on Water and Food (CPWF) in the Limpopo Basin Development Challenge (LBDC) Project.

The CPWF is a research to action and impact project being implemented by the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN). It aims to increase the resilience of social and ecological systems through better water management for food production. It does this by focusing on the nexus between water, food and poverty in developing countries. GWPSA has been engaged in the programme since 2008. 

The project has focused on the 4 riparian countries of the Limpopo basin, at the basin (LIMCOM) and the regional SADC water sector. Innovative research has been carried out to address water and food challenges in the basin and how it could positively impact on development and poverty in the four countries (Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa & Zimbabwe) within the current LIMCOM policy framework and projects of the international basin. CPWF is implemented through five thematic thrusts: Targeting and scaling out (L1), Small water infrastructure (L2), Farm Systems and Risk Management (L3), Water Governance (L4), and Learning for innovation & adaptive management (L5).

GWPSA’s engagement in the CPWF has been in the Learning for innovation & adaptive management theme (L5). This component aims to have science based evidence included in – or informing basin decision making toward improved smallholder productivity and reduced risk in rain-fed agricultural production systems. This has been achieved through three main types of activities: Research coordination; on-going engagement with internal and external stakeholders; and innovation research. The L5 component has provided opportunities that transform and advance the work of the CPWF. By promoting learning for innovation and adaptive management, stakeholders who have the right tools for learning and innovation will be most effective in solving challenges relating to improved agricultural productivity in rain-fed systems in the Limpopo. These tools include data and results as well as techniques for reflecting on assumptions and challenges.

As the programme draws to a close in 2013, the L5 which has been given the mandate in evaluation, research, and writing programme outcomes that have strengthened practice. The L5 is to also share the effective models for implementation from the  outcomes on the CPWF. The L5 will provide lessons on how the project facilitated and promoted contextualized and integrated research done by LBDC and will further capture lessons drawn from the engagement of stakeholders at all levels (researchers, smallholder farmers, decision makers, and civil society) to improve agricultural productivity in rain-fed systems in the Limpopo.