The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) – under the Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory for Small-Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – leads the scaling of irrigation technologies in partnership with private sector entities. The project aims to test and refine business models for farmer-led irrigation (FLI), strengthen irrigation supply markets, identify innovative ways to enhance access to irrigation technologies and services, and facilitate adoption of these technologies by smallholders.
Job Title: Intern Recruitment
IWMI works with two types of private sector partners: (i) commercial entities that supply irrigation equipment and/or supporting products and services, and (ii) small and medium enterprises or farmer-based organizations and cooperatives engaged in irrigated agricultural value chains.
Key to scaling irrigation technologies is strengthening the technical expertise of actors within and across multiple levels of irrigated value chains, improving linkages between education, research and private sector/market actors, and supporting local research institutions and organizations to respond to needs for knowledge on FLI development.
For the first time, IWMI, under ILSSI and in collaboration with PEG Africa and national partners, is organizing a series of Innovation Grant (InGrant) Pitching Contests to identify young Ghanaian entrepreneurs, innovators, and recent graduates with bachelor’s and master’s degrees to develop innovations and/or carry out demand-based research to address the needs of the private sector. The winners of the Pitching Contests will be awarded an innovation internship for the following:
Create and foster partnerships between national research institutions and the private sector to mobilize innovation.
Catalyze contextually relevant local technical, social and financial innovations to support scaling of small-scale irrigation, and increase access to and adoption of these technologies.
Support the next generation of entrepreneurs and young professionals through private sector work experience.
Specifically, InGrant provides:
six-month or one-year paid innovation internships to young entrepreneurs, innovators and recent graduates (GHS 1,740/month for bachelor’s degree holders and GHS 2,030/month for master’s degree holders).
Who are we looking for?
The first InGrant Pitching Contest seeks young Ghanaian entrepreneurs, innovators, and recent graduates with bachelor’s and master’s degrees (those who graduated no more than 12 months ago, i.e., September 2019) to undertake a one-year innovation internship with PEG Africa to carry out the following:
Develop ways to link farmers to input and output markets to achieve profitable solar-based irrigated farming (challenge 1). Small-scale irrigators in Ghana face several challenges, including difficulty in accessing input and output markets due to limited distribution channels, inadequate input supply, information asymmetry in relation to determining price and securing markets for produce. Hand pumps and diesel generators are often not cost-effective and have little after-sales service. Solar pumps offer the advantage of better profitability in terms of yield increases, and fuel and labor cost savings for farmers. How can irrigators, usually in remote locations, be better connected to input and output markets to enable them to be more productive and profitable?
Develop ways to address gender-based constraints to information and financial resources related to solar-based irrigation (challenge 2). The roles, perceptions, constraints and preferences of men and women farmers (including youth) in irrigated agriculture vary widely across peri-urban and rural locations. However, constraints include women’s limited access to information on irrigation technologies due to lower literacy and higher household obligations compared to men, as well as unequal access to financial resources, which subsequently affects women’s ability to invest in solar irrigation technologies. How can these constraints be addressed to ensure men and women farmers have equal access to information and financial services related to solar-based irrigation technologies?