Africa's 'hidden water': can it secure agricultural growth and food security?

21 March 2014 09:45 - 17:00 (GMT+00)
Public event
Streamed live online
Description

ODI’s Water Policy Programme (WPP), the Global Water Initiative East Africa (GWI) and UEA’s  Water Security Research Centre (WSRC) will host a flagship event on 21 March 2014 to mark World Water Day (22nd March). The event will bring together international experts from a range of disciplines and sector perspectives to discuss four key themes:      

  • The groundwater perspective: Are recent headlines about Africa’s vast groundwater potential credible? What do we know – and what don’t we know – about the development potential and management needs of groundwater resources in SSA?
  • The agriculture perspective: Does better land and water management, and more irrigation in particular, hold the key to ‘climate-proofing’ agriculture, raising yields and reducing rural poverty?
  • The development and poverty perspective: Groundwater irrigation for smallholder farmers in SSA is accelerating, but what do we know about its ability to deliver inclusive growth and the factors that still block development?
  • Lessons from the Asian perspective: Thanks to a groundwater boom, millions of farmers have improved their livelihoods and food security in South Asia and northern China. But the costs of runaway withdrawals are now hitting hard – on poorer farmers, the environment and other sectors, not least energy. What important lessons can be drawn? 

The day will conclude with the launch of a new book, Water Security, Principles, Perspectives and Practices, published by Earthscan, with mini-presentations from some of the well-known authors. 

Agenda

Time

Theme

Speakers

09:45-10:00

Introduction: The scope of the water & agriculture challenge

Roger Calow (ODI) & Alan Nicol (GWI)

10:00-10:15

Keynote 1: The resource perspective

Prof Alan Macdonald (BGS)

10:15-10:30

Keynote 2: The agriculture perspective

Dr Hezron Mogaka (ASARECA Uganda)

10:30-10:50

Break

10:50-11:10

Keynote 3: A country perspective – Ethiopia

H.E. Ato Sileshi Getahun (Ethiopian State Minister for Agriculture)

11:10-11:30

Keynote 4: A development & poverty perspective

Dr Karen Villholth (IMWI)

11:30-12:20

Facilitated discussion: From ground to growth, but what are the pathways?

Roger Calow/Alan Nicol chair

12:20-13:00

Water security perspectives: Rapid-fire session from Earthscan book chapter authors

Chapter authors give 3 minute ‘elevator pitch’ followed by discussion. Bruce Lankford (UEA) chairs

13:00-14:00

Lunch

14:00-14:15

Keynote 5: Lessons from India: the rise and fall of the groundwater irrigation economy

Shilp Verma (IWMI)

14:15-14:30

Keynote 6: Grounding the South Asia perspective in Africa.

Prof Richard Taylor (UCL)

14:30-15:15

Facilitated discussion

Discussants:

Violet Alinda (GWI)

Dr Steve Wiggins (ODI)

Dr Eva Ludi (ODI)

Dr Bruce Lankford (UEA)

15:15-15:45

Closing session

Roger Calow & Alan Nicol

15:45-17:00

Earthscan book launch and wine reception

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