Enabling sustainable agricultural production adapted to climate change
Modernized Irrigation Project for Small and Medium Farmers
25% of the territory in Ecuador corresponds to small medium producers, whose work is fundamental for agricultural value chains such as rice, potatoes, corn, onions, among others.
However, the levels of development of this segment of the agricultural population, as well as its capacity to contribute to the diversification of the productive matrix at the national level, are limited due to the reduced size of their lands, the lack of access to markets and the lack of knowledge to implement efficient water management techniques in agriculture.
Of the 338,000 hectares in the hands of small and medium producers with irrigation, 93% still use traditional irrigation methods with reduced efficiency levels and limited water storage capacity.
"With LAIF funding we are improving the management of our natural resources taking into account climate change, and increasing our incomes".
"With this technified irrigation we are gaining production time and the most important thing is that we are not deteriorating the terrain" - Marcelo Guerrón, beneficiary of the PIT
The Modernized Irrigation Project for Small and Medium Farmers project is helping approximately 14 000 small and medium-sized farmers, from coastal territories and mountain regions, gain access to modern irrigation systems, allowing them to improve water management and increase agricultural production. The project is covering investments in irrigation systems, production techniques, institutional strengthening, training, and the promotion of innovation and agricultural best practices.
The main goal of the project is to improve the incomes of small and medium-sized farmers by providing more efficient irrigation and the climate-smart management of soils and waters. In so doing, the project should help to reduce extreme poverty and increase shared prosperity by augmenting agricultural revenue and strengthening the resilience of Ecuador’s family farming sector, promoting diversification and higher agricultural production, and improving access to markets for smallholders and their organizations.
The project’s three core components cover:
- investments in irrigation systems and production techniques;
- training and technical assistance to handle these systems and techniques; and
- research, development and innovation to improve agro-productive systems, using agricultural and post-harvest practices that are beneficial for the environment and adapted to climate change.
The LAIF contribution is promoting investments that increase and diversify production, support the processing of products, and provide improved access to markets. As a result of this support, the return on investment will be significantly higher than for investments in irrigation systems alone. For example, the LAIF contribution is considering investments in machinery and equipment for the production, conservation and storage of agricultural products, for transport, and for small agro-industrial businesses to process agricultural products.
Also, the LAIF contribution is providing added value in terms of innovation to improve agro-production systems by investing in productive aspects as well as processing and commercialization. Investments are being made for the preparation of land plots for trials to improve cultivation practices, including appropriate management of erosion and soil fertility. Furthermore, the use of bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides, seeds and ancestral varieties is being promoted, as well as the creation of laboratories equipped for the recovery, conservation and improvement of seeds.
- The project is carried out in 17 provinces of the country, through 124 local subprojects between the coastal and mountain areas.
- 12,400 hectares are provided with an irrigation system.
- 14,150 families should benefit, many of them mestizos, indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorians and mountaineers.