Helvetas supports the enhancement of food security, water efficiency and income of at least 45’000 farmers in Asia that either produce cotton or rice. The Water Productivity Project (WAPRO) is a multi-stakeholder initiative to address these issues in Kyrgyzstan, India, Tajikistan and Pakistan.
Sobirjon Ochilov, cotton farmer from Sughd Province, Tajikistan
Helvetas strives to unfold synergies between governments, development NGOs and the private sector to release an innovative combination of improved irrigation water productivity and food security. It supports farmers in India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in their aspirations towards enhancing their food security, income and water productivity through promotion of water governance and strengthened capacities of water user associations.
WAPRO is a multi-stakeholder initiative with six subprojects. The consortium partners implement the subprojects below and activities based on a co-financing model. Together with the SDC contributions the overall project budget for the first three year phase (2015 – 2018) amounted to six million Swiss Francs. A second phase with another jointly contributed funding amount of six millions Swiss Francs is currently ongoing from 2018 till 2021.
Since 2013, such joint processes can be based on a newly launched international Water Stewardship Standard. Owned and administered by the international NGO Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) this set of criteria and indicators specifies the action steps required to achieve a local water management plan that can be accepted by all local water users.
Examples of activities that could be conducted in such an action plan are:
Within the project the Alliance for Water Stewardship will train local implementers in facilitation skills, how to handle such sensitive discussion procedures and which hydrology facts and legal aspects have to be integrated to achieve reasonable and feasible results.
In combination with new irrigation measures that are implemented by the farmers via the other two project components (push and pull), a jointly accepted water management plan has chances to be endorsed and followed by all involved users. The entry into a new phase of a thoughtful water stewardship can begin.