By 2050, farmers will have to produce 70% more food to feed a growing global population projected to reach 9.7 billion – all without exceeding current levels of water withdrawals. The vast majority of the world’s farmers are smallholder famers: those that farm just a few acres, or less, of land. These farmers will need to increase food production while facing increasing climate variability, recurrent dry spells and droughts, low water productivity, and degrading soil health that no longer holds sufficient moisture. A deliberate focus on female smallholder farmers and increasing their productivity, efficiency, and sustainability is needed to safeguard their productivity, and protect food and water security for a large proportion of the global population.
The term “Water Smart Agriculture” (WaSA) was coined by CARE during action research undertaken from 2013 to 2015 as part of the Global Water Initiative in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. WaSA techniques are soil-smart, rainfall-smart, and (if applicable) irrigation-smart.