The Tao of #Feedingdev

July 25th, 2014

How Energy, Water, and Agriculture all need each other

watering vegetable in Turkana

Practical Action (@Practicalaction) and Devex (@Devex) are holding a Twitter Chat on Monday, July 28 at 3PM BST/10AM EST.   By following the hashtag #feedingdev you can join the discussion about how the different components of the development arena – energy, water and agriculture – are inter-related within a well-functioning agricultural value chain.  Water is needed to produce food and energy, energy is needed to move and treat water and to produce food, and often food is used as a source of energy.

In implementing our four key thematic programmes in Agriculture, Energy, Urban WASH and Disaster Risk Reduction, @Practical Action have come to realise that these systems are becoming increasingly more complex and dependent upon one another.  A change in one system can cause significant impacts in another. The systemic approaches we are now implementing and advocating for support the #feedingdev initiative to reimagine solutions for food security.

These and are based on four main principles

  • The supply of food, energy and water is irrelevant if it remains inaccessible to the poor.
  • The supply of food, energy and water should be adaptable to climate change and protect the world’s resources for future generations.
  • People do not need any technology, they need the appropriate technology.
  • Women and men have different needs and are impacted differently by the agriculture-energy-water nexus.

Key questions to address during TwitterChat:

At a recent virtual workshop, attended by Practical Action staff from our seven country offices around the world, a list of key questions emerged.  The answers to these will help us better address the challenges of implementing a nexus approach’ for food security. We’d like to raise these questions with the larger twitter community:

  • Q1: Does a ‘nexus approach’ require complex, high-cost program design & implementation, or can it be simple and low-cost?
  • Q2: What are the major ‘trade-offs’ for smallholder farmers in the agriculture-energy-water nexus?
  • Q3: How can a robust evidence base be established to measure the impact of a ‘nexus approach – what indicators are useful and appropriate?
  • Q4: How can civil society effectively work with the private sector to take appropriate technologies to scale?
  • Q5: How can gender considerations best be included in the agriculture-energy-water nexus approach?

“Economic development is something much wider and deeper than economics…Its’ roots lie outside the economic sphere…in political independence and a national consciousness of self-reliance.” (E.F. Schumacher)

Join the Twitter chat on Monday, July 28 at 3PM BST/10AM EST using #feedingdev

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