SWFF Program & Innovator News
 Jan 9, 2020
Don't Panic. The Sky Is Not Falling. But Stop Wasting Water says Expert
Beverly Dianne McIntyre says the answer to the planet's climate problems won't be found focusing on doom and gloom but on how we all can all make a difference.

She wants to be part of that difference.

Dr. McIntyre, a consultant with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and an expert for its Soil and Water Platform, says, "Yes, it might seem like the sky is falling sometimes, but there are effective measures that can be taken." She pointed to technical innovations to improve governance, as well as the more effective usage of water in agriculture.

"It is even more imperative that we do so given climate variation," she adds. "We waste too much water."
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  • SWFF Failures, Pivots and Lessons Learned. Over the past five years, SWFF has lived by the motto "Execute, Fail Fast, Fix it, Learn, and Improve". This has been a consistent view across the program and throughout the SWFF ecosystem. While SWFF and its innovators have experienced a multitude of successes, the program has experienced significant set backs as well. With each failure came analyses, lessons learned, and pivots by innovators to make more cost-effective, efficient choices. SWFF wanted to start a conversation, speaking openly of the failures, pivots, and lessons learned to be used for the upcoming Water and Energy for Food program, as well as in the context of a broader food-water nexus. Read the full report here.
  • Feeding a Growing Nation is in Lal Teer's DNA. By and large, Bangladeshi women fulfill traditional roles as housewives and child caretakers. A decade ago Lal Teer leadership asked themselves, "What if we could provide seeds such that each woman could grow sufficient plants around their homes to feed families and barter with neighbors?". Today Lal Teer is the largest seed company in the nation and women have become active participants in the farming economy. Learn more.
  • IVL's Sponge Project is Honored at the World Water Challenge. The World Water Challenge is an international contest for water solutions, held annually in conjunction with Korea International Water Week (KIWW), aiming to discover innovations for the world's imminent water problems. This past September the IVL Sponge project was selected from 67 innovators, representing 55 nations, as the World Water Challenge's Outstanding Award winner. Congratulations to IVL Sponge.
  • Good Grazing and Better Market Access is the Key to Meat Naturally's Success. It was a rather simple approach to an age-old issue of pasture degradation, but until a South African program called Meat Naturally came along, it apparently had never been considered. Instead of bringing cows long-distances to markets, why not bring, in essence, the markets to the cows. At the same time, why not train field producers how to care for communal land? Read more.
  • Overcoming Sanitation Skepticism in India - A Question of Habit, Equality and Education. Open defecation in streams and fields has been called India's most intransigent habit. It has been like that throughout the country's history, and this is the case even though 94 percent of the population have toilets. In 2014 the government embarked upon a program known as "Clean India". SWFF innovator, WASTE Stitching, introduced a technology to recycle blackwater (wastewater containing feces) for the production of market-quality compost for farming. Read more about how WASTE solved a cultural issue and enhanced the local economy.
  • Can a Dragonfly Forecast Rain? ITIKI Thinks So. Dr. Muthoni Masinde grew up with the knowledge from generations before her that insects, birds and the movement of grass in the wind can all forecast the weather. But this knowledge is often met with much skepticism. So the ITIKI Drought Prediction Tool was created, combining old world knowledge with cutting-edge science. Learn more.
  • Naireeta Services is a Green Champion. SWFF innovator Naireeta Services was honored at the COP25 (the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference). The first-ever GCF Green Champion Awards were presented in six categories. The Awards were launched earlier in the year to recognize and promote the most noteworthy and successful efforts to fight climate change in developing countries. Of the 280 nominees selected for consideration, Naireeta Services was chosen as the Green Champion in the "Climate Gender" category. Our congratulations to SWFF innovator, Naireeta Services.
  • Mark Your Calendar: SWFF Presentations at USAID on March 18th, 2020. The TA Facility has finalized the dates for the final SWFF Annual Convening which will take place in Washington, D.C. from March 17th to March 19th, 2020. This three-day convening will be the final culminating event for Securing Water for Food and will be an opportunity for innovators, partners, and key stakeholders to share program successes and lessons learned over the past five years, including a day-long event on March 18th where SWFF will host presentations and panel discussions conducted by SWFF staff, innovators, and external field evaluators. These will focus on project successes, failures, lessons learned as well as gender, missing markets, and WE4F. This event is open to the public, and participants from the SWFF delegation, donor partners and USAID staff are invited to attend. More details (including location and schedule) to come.
  • Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge - Asia EDGE. The Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Grand Challenge Asia EDGE Ag-Energy Prize seeks business owners and entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia with game-changing innovations operating at the nexus of sustainable, renewable energy, and agriculture. The prize competition will (a) identify promising, worthwhile innovators at the nexus of sustainable, renewable energy and agriculture; (b) explore market activity about the nature, progress, and scale of small and growing enterprises in the region; and (c) improve awareness of WE4F and Asia EDGE development initiatives among the business community. Finalists and winners will receive cash prizes in addition to recognition on the WE4F website and communications materials, and an opportunity to participate in a co-creation workshop, and acceleration services for their enterprise. Interested parties should visit the WE4F website. The submission deadline for applications is January 29th, 2020.
1001 Words

A Game-Changing Solution Sharing Climate and Irrigation Information with Peruvian Smallholder Farmers.  

In Peru, access to information about climate and weather patterns is both limited and expensive. Publicly-provided data covers only a small portion of the country and privately-held climate stations sell data at exorbitantly high costs to large farming institutions. With ICU Peru's Irrigation Scheduling System, smallholder farmers can now obtain information timing and quantity of irrigation.