ENHANCING THE RESILIENCE OF AGRO-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM PROJECT
The ERASP is part of the regional GEF funded project, Integrated Approach Programme on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa (GEF-IAP-FS). ERASP compliments PRIDE in three main areas;
ERASP focuses on a more comprehensive landscape planning process for the sub-catchments, including PRIDE sites, while PRIDE focuses on the institutional architecture as it relates to the functioning of the irrigation schemes. ERASP adds an agro-ecological approach to improving food security, which is complementing PRIDE’s livelihood and marketing approach. In this, ERASP has developed a comprehensive strategy to reduce land degradation, as one of the pathways to improve food security, through biomass energy efficiency, biomass energy production and forest land and water conservation measures. While PRIDE has a major focus on irrigation, high value crops, value addition and marketing, ERASP is raising agricultural yields on rain-fed farming systems through climate-smart and conservation agricultural methods, supported by credit provision through village lending and saving clubs.
This component aims at joint natural resources management through development of catchment management plans and establishment of catchment management committees, provisioned for under the 2013 Water Resources Act. The emphasis will be on achieving evidence-based and coordinated development planning, based on a pathway to achieving a shared vision for resource governance and sustainable use in the catchment. Village Natural Resource Management Committees will be formalised and will be given the tools needed to develop and enforce village level land use plans in line with the overall catchment plans.
The component aims at conserving the wider catchment area and rehabilitating the land, in order to improve ecosystem services and secure the medium-term benefits of the irrigation investment. This will be done through fuel wood efficiency measures; promoting sustainable production and harvesting of biomass energy resources from communally managed woodlots and pilot small biogas systems; and increasing the incentives to protect forested areas through production of non-forest timber products. Land rehabilitation in sensitive catchment areas will also be carried out.
The component aims at improving soil fertility, soil moisture availability and farm management strategies including diversification of crop varieties in order to raise agricultural resilience, productivity and nutritiona security. Monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services, resilience and food security in the catchment areas will be carried out in order to: (i) monitor progress and effectiveness of the implemented measures; (ii) allow for adaptive catchment planning and management; (iii) provide evidence for promoting policy mainstreaming; and (iv) strengthen the sustainability of ERASP outcomes.