During the first half of 2022, RE4AFAGRI organised focus groups with stakeholders active in the water-energy-agriculture-development Nexus, at the core of the project’s research agenda. These were for Zambia, Rwanda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, bringing together practitioners and decision-makers active in different but strictly related topic areas: irrigation and agricultural development; rural energy access; and crop value chains and rural economic development.
These meetings have collected knowledge and data to tailor the project’s research activities – both in terms of modelling and of business model research – to the sub-Saharan African realities in question. Insights gained are technological, such as the most suitable irrigation systems type and size for smallholder farming, while others are techno-economic, such as the understanding of country-specific value chain and their potential to be rendered more profitable through the input of energy for irrigation and crop processing.
Organisations that have been engaged in this regard include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Resources Institute (WRI), and Practical Action. A literature review is ongoing to complement the bottom-up insights collected through the focus group with existing analysis to ensure a transversal view on water-energy-agriculture-development Nexus issues in sub-Saharan Africa is obtained.