Scaling up sustainable land management practices by smallholder farmers

This project is supported and financed by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and implemented by CDE as host to the WOCAT Secretariat. At the national level the CDE/WOCAT Secretariat works with the Uganda Landcare Network in Uganda, the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute in Lao PDR and the Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia.

farmers discussing sustainable land management
Project team discussing with farmers in Northern Uganda. Photo: Hanspeter Liniger, CDE

Many good SLM practices exist. However, the knowledge of smallholder farmers, extension services, and projects on sustainable land management (SLM) practices – and particularly on their short- and long-term impacts and benefits – is not documented in a standardized and harmonized way by governments. Doing so would facilitate: a) comparative evaluation of the practices for scaling up in current or future projects, and b) decisions on which SLM practices to promote, based on a comprehensive knowledge base – including a participatory evaluation and negotiation with all relevant stakeholders of context-specific SLM options.

Water harvesting
Water harvesting in Northern Uganda. Photo: Hanspeter Liniger, CDE

Therefore, this project builds the capacities of extension services for a standardized documentation of SLM practices using participatory WOCAT tools and methods, which are widely used by many organizations worldwide. Special focus is given to the assessment of existing SLM practices that build resilience to climate change, and adaptation mechanisms by smallholder farmers. The project supports agricultural extension services to create a national SLM database linked to the global WOCAT SLM database and thus also the UNCCD SLM Best Practices Reporting, and to continue the documentation and scaling up of SLM practices nationally and globally.

Entrance sign of the Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia. Photo: Nicole Harari, CDE

The project will promote evidence-based decision-making in SLM by capacitating extension staff to use established WOCAT tools and methods for knowledge management (KM) and decision support (DS) in SLM, tailored to the context and specific needs of the extension services in the three project countries. The ultimate objective is the creation of a cadre of extension workers fully versed in the WOCAT methodology, knowledgeable in using WOCAT KM and DS tools and methods, and capable of training the next batch of extension workers to facilitate continuity.

The grant further aims at enhancing policy dialogue on scaling up SLM and influencing national institutions to allocate a budget for investments in SLM through a series of policy dialogue activities. The project works closely with three IFAD-supported loan investments to enhance country operations, and to embed SLM tools and methodologies into existing local/national extension systems. In Cambodia the project supports activities of the Agriculture Services Programme for Innovation, Resilience and Extension (ASPIRE) project. In Lao PDR, the project works closely with the Smallholder Adaptation to Climate Change Component (SACCC), which is a new component within the Southern Laos Food and Nutrition Security and Market Linkages Programme (FNML). In Uganda, the project is linked to the Programme for the Restoration of Livelihoods in the Northern Region (PRELNOR).

Project duration: February 2016 – March 2019

This project is supported and financed by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and implemented by CDE as host to the WOCAT Secretariat.

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