Improved Water Management for Sugarcane Production
The project intervention focused on introducing improved water management practices to reduce water use, in parallel with improved crop practices to increase crop yield. The program started small but grew to encompass over 1,000 farmers. Specifically, the project implemented several irrigation-related interventions, including: replacing serpentine irrigation with furrow irrigation, making irrigation scheduling dependent on estimated soil moisture content and crop demand, and applying mulching to conserve soil moisture.
At a program cost of US$744,000, it is estimated that the intervention resulted in reduced water usage of up to 22,080,000m3/year over an area of 8,000ha and an increase in crop yield of up to 20%. Farmers also benefited with a 30% increase in gross profit margins due to a complementary incentive scheme promoting higher quality cane sugar.