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Home > Basin > Andes > Associated cropping for food security (SG510)

Full Project Title: Associated cropping and enhanced rainwater harvesting to improve food security and sustainable livelihoods of peasant farmer associations (SG510)


Recognising the potential of diverse sustainable agriculture as an alternative to the water crisis caused by monoculture production and desertification, this project promotes community investigation and quantifies benefits of the following participatory strategies:

1. Associated cropping to recover food security in rural areas affected by desertification and mono-crop production.

2. Enhanced rainwater harvesting practices using locally appropriate technologies for peasant communities.

3. Community – institutional dialogue and gender proactive methodologies to improve water management planning in the river catchment.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • Recovery of traditional seed varieties that allows improved water and food security for peasant families living in the region.
  • Validation and dissemination of agroecology, soil conservation and water management practices within rural communities.
  • Calculation of water balance benefits related to crop diversification and rainwater harvesting as an alternative to mono-crop production.
  • Documentation of participatory and gender proactive methodologies related to water management, enhancing the possibility of replication in other regions.
  • A stakeholder dialogue scheme on water management and policy issues set-up amongst social and institutional actors from the region.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • A collective awareness of the historical transformation of the landscape and its people, has motivated local farmers to recover traditional seed varieties as food-crops and re-adopt crop association farming practices.
  • The methodology of the Campesino School of Agroecology has given particular importance to farmer-to-farmer dialogue within the local community and across rural municipalities; this has facilitated collective learning, social organisation and dissemination of appropriate technologies and sustainable agricultural practices.
  • An improved understanding of water conservation within agro-ecosystems has been achieved by training the local farmers in observation techniques that allow them to monitor water-indicators.
Publications and Outputs

Selected publications and outputs

  1. Abstract and policy brief in Session 5 on Gender, Resource Management and Local Institutions in the CPWF International Forum on Water and Food, Vientiane, Lao PDR (12-17 November, 2006).
  2. Paper presented at the regional integration meeting and workshop “Impact pathways in the Andean system of basins”, Cali – Colombia (2 – 6 October, 2006).
  3. Regional newspaper article: “Foro en Lebrija – territorios de agua y de vida campesina”, Vanguardia Liberal, Bucaramanga – Colombia (26 May 2007).
  4. Regional newspaper article: “La situación de las mujeres de El Salado”, Vanguardia Liberal, Bucaramanga, Colombia (21 June 2006).
  5. Radio programs: University of Santander radio station – TELEUIS, Bucaramanga.
  6. Testimonial video: “Piña dulce, agua amarga”, Fundaexpresión – CDMB.
Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead


For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.