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A little water for big gains

An IFAD  grant project in India, which comes to an end in December, has some ideas and resources that could be useful for other projects.     "Scaling up Micro-Irrigation Systems" (SCAMPIS) has also been implemented in Guatemala and Madagascar, and is funded by the Coopernic Sustainability Fund (Coopernic is an alliance of European retailers).   In India SCAMPIS has been implemented in two districts of Orissa by IDE-India, an NGO which focuses on micro-irrigation systems, in partnership with nine local NGOs and community groups set up by OLELP, an IFAD-supported project in this state. 

In India SCAMPIS has promoted micro-irrigation systems (small drip systems and treadle pumps), along with liquid organic fertiliser.    It has reached over 15,000 households, and has resulted in significant increases in vegetable production, consumption and sales.   Apart from the technology packages for micro-irrigation and organic fertiliser, for me two things stand out as being of interest to other projects.  One is the business model adopted by IDE-India, involving a market-driven distribution system for this equipment, with a network of equipment dealers and Village-Based Mechanics.   Not only should this ensure sustainability, but it also enables more farmers to adopt the technologies.   The other notable feature is the adoption of the technique of "Most Significant Change" as a means of participatory monitoring of project progress and outcomes.   Much detailed information about the project, the technologies and results can be found at the project website and blog.

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