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IFAD Irrigation Project Improves Livelihoods, Increases Climate Resilience in Swaziland

IFAD15 May 2013: A long-standing irrigation project implemented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Swaziland has reported results in increasing adaptation to climate change, conserving biodiversity and reducing land degradation through sustainable land management (SLM) practices.

The Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project, which has run from 2004-2013, is reducing the impact of issues surrounding water scarcity through collaboration on constructing water harvesting tanks with the Women in Development department in the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development. The tanks divert overflow water to backyard gardens, building resilience of local populations and benefiting the livelihoods of the rural poor.

The project creates conditions for commercialization of sustainable, high-value crops through large-scale irrigation. The network of irrigation that will be expanded through the next phase of the project will help meet the water needs of farmers in a cost-efficient way. Additional activities being promoted by the project include low tillage, conservation agriculture, forestation and biomass energy production. [IFAD Press Release] [Overview of the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project]