By Comunicaciones

The context

Agriculture uses about 70% of the water resources, which can generate conflicts with other users if availability is limited and seasonal, as occurs in many places due to the effects of climatic variability and extreme events such as droughts and excessive rainfall. The problem is compounded by the lack of understanding of different users about common problems and the need for concerted improvement of water management at the territorial level.

Dialogue among users as a solution process

The consortium formed by UNAN-León Nicaragua, IDIAF of the Dominican Republic, banana and coffee producers, Bioversity International, the Humidtropics program of the CGIAR and the French consultancy Lisode (Lien Social et Décision), integrated farmers and other actors from a banana zone in each country, in a process based on the ComMod (Companion Modeling) methodology that uses role play to deliberate on the improvement of water management at the territorial level. The process included information gathering; participatory diagnoses; the identification of interactions and trade-offs between water, climate, agriculture and other users; and the validation of a territorial dialogue platform that uses the aforementioned role play to articulate the social and environmental system and identify the problems of access and use of water under different climatic scenarios. 378 farmers and other actors were integrated into workshops and territorial dialogue platforms that allowed participants to understand the problems of water use and the mutual needs of all users in each work area based on conceptual models. The learning process facilitated the analysis and decision-making and the dialogue platforms identified 109 technological and institutional proposals of which 29 were included in action plans to improve knowledge about the water resource, formalize the rules for access and use of water, innovate agricultural practices to reduce pressure on the resource and vulnerability of farms, and raise public awareness about water use problems.

Continuity of the process

It is important to promote the persistence of the dialogue platforms and their replication in other territories to generate a greater number of beneficiaries and create the enabling conditions for the adoption of technological and organizational innovations. In this regard, training of technicians in both countries in the facilitation of dialogue platforms and the use of the ComMod program is important.


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FONTAGRO was created 1998 with the purpose of promoting the increase of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and the reduction of poverty in the region. The objective of FONTAGRO is to establish itself as a sustainable financing mechanism for the development of agricultural technology in Latin America and the Caribbean, and to establish a forum for the discussion of priority topics of technological innovation. The member countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. In the last 21 years 144 regional agricultural innovation platforms have been co-financed for an amount of US $ 112 million, which has reached 230 institutions and 29 countries worldwide


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