Improving food security in the region
The Nile Basin has abundant land and water resources and agriculture is a priority area in national poverty reduction strategies. It is important in terms of food security and growth, contribution to GDP (between 12% and 43%), as well as employment (between 32% and 94% of the labor force). In addition, the agricultural sector sustains the agro-industrial sector, and contributes to the growth of non-farm activities (both in rural and urban areas) and to the strengthening of regional integration through trade in agricultural products. Over 60 per cent of the region’s poor households derive their livelihood primarily from agriculture.
Many projected to benefit
NBI has so far collected best practices in water harvesting, small scale and large scale irrigation and developed new schemes in the Nile Basin, with the objective of improving water use efficiency and cross- country learning. This is in addition to preparing development projects that address irrigation, soil stability, landscape and fisheries management, as well as flood protection. Around 4 million people across the region are projected to benefit from these projects, once they are implemented,
For example, the Ethiopia irrigation and drainage project is improving agricultural water use nationally, and the planned eastern Nile irrigation and drainage project intends to do the same in other areas of the region. In the Nile equatorial lakes region, planned river basin watershed management projects all include components on irrigation. A project In Lakes Edward and Albert aims to improve fish stocks, resulting in better nutrition and economic impacts.