WASAP – Water for Smallholder Agricultural Production

The Problem

Uganda has a massive resource potential for irrigation of 3,000,000 ha. Only a tiny fraction of that is developed to date: just 77,000 ha (equivalent to 2.6%) are equipped. The Government of Uganda is embarking on numerous programs to expand and support the irrigation sector. Support to smallholder farmers focuses both on micro-irrigation systems as well as gravity irrigation schemes. The Water for Smallholder Agricultural Production (WASAP) project, funded by the World Bank, includes investments for develop irrigation schemes for groups of smallholders. Field technicians have a crucial role in facilitating these processes but require a comprehensive guide of design-standards for the development of small-scale irrigation schemes for the Ugandan context.

The Solution

The development of a comprehensive and accessible guideline for the design of smallholder gravity irrigation schemes in Uganda (<100 ha), will support the technicians in their work. This guide ensures that for the field reconnaissance, concept design and detailed design for ‘small’ irrigation schemes cost-effective and quality outcomes are achieved.

The Impact

The guideline will be used by agricultural and civil engineers, district agricultural engineers and contractors who are undertaking the design of small irrigation schemes in Uganda. On a short term, the design manual will enable the development of irrigation schemes funded through the WASAP project. The guide, with a focus on smallholder gravity irrigation ensuring cost-effective and qualitative designs, supports the Ugandan government reaching its ambitious target of a total irrigated area of 1,500,000 ha by 2040.

Implemented in

Central Region, Uganda

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Contact person

Wouter Beekman


Agriculture; irrigation; guideline; design; smallholder gravity irrigation scheme; Uganda; field reconnaissance; concept design; detailed design