Press release

Wageningen UR wins two multi-million euro irrigation projects in Mozambique

Published on
April 9, 2013

Wageningen UR has won two multi-million euro projects within the Sustainable Irrigation Development Project (PROIRRI), a 5-year programme from the Government of Mozambique, financed by the World Bank. PROIRRI is a highly innovative project, both in its broad approach to revive the country’s irrigation sector and in its approach of supporting farmer-initiated irrigation development. Through these projects Wageningen UR can contribute and showcase its key expertise in this field and extend its long-lasting relation with the Mozambican water sector.

The first project is a 3-year institutional and capacity development project with 4 major components:

  1. Institutional development of the recently established National Irrigation Institute
  2. Setting-up irrigation education at 5 higher education institutes
  3. Capacity building of agricultural extension in the field of water
  4. Training of local contractors and artisans

Successful collaboration

The acquisition of the 1.75 million Euro project is the result of a successful collaboration between Alterra and the Water Resources Management (WRM) group of Wageningen University. Wim van Driel and Gert Jan Veldwisch have jointly coordinated the acquisition process for a consortium with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and two Mozambican firms.

Wim van Driel, Team Leader for the project: “The Mozambican Government shows a genuine interest in re-engaging with irrigation and puts substantial attention to creating an enabling environment through the development of policy and investment frameworks, re-training its extension staff and re-establishing higher education in irrigation. The project will also contribute to the national food security.”

Besides the capacity development project Wageningen University is also part of a consortium that won a 5.8 million US$ bid for the Irrigation Service Provider within the same PROIRRI programme. This 5-year project will organises the design and implementation process of 3,000 ha rice irrigation. The consortium is led by Royal HaskoningDHV. Gert Jan Veldwisch of Wageningen University will provide academic support by facilitating reflection on the participatory methodology and connecting research activities to the implementation process.

Favourable starting position

Both projects are spin-offs from the Messica Irrigation Pilot Project (MIPP) that is supported by Partners for Water since 2012. Gert Jan Veldwisch, project coordinator of MIPP: “This Partners for Water subsidy has given us a favourable starting position to concur for these two projects. We benefited extremely from the established partnerships, the developed methodology and a good understanding of the existing situation. We are confident that the up-scaling of an innovative approach to farmer-initiated irrigation can make a crucial difference for thousands of smallholder farmers in Mozambique.”

Both bids were evaluated to be the highest ranking on both the quality and the price for which they were offered.