20 July 2023, Asia: IRRI Education, the educational arm of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) developed and launched a series of micromodules entitled “Empowering Agriculture using Solar Irrigation Resilience”.
South Asia remains as the world’s largest user of groundwater for agriculture, withdrawing approximately 250 km³ of groundwater annually for irrigation. The Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience (SoLAR) in South Asia, an IWMI-led project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aims to sustainably manage the water-energy and climate interlinkages in South Asia through the promotion of solar irrigation pumps (SIPs). The project’s main goal is to contribute to climate-resilient, gender-equitable, and socially inclusive agrarian livelihoods in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan by supporting government efforts to promote solar irrigation.
The micromodules offer a gateway learning experience on solar irrigation for agricultural resilience. By providing a comprehensive understanding of the detrimental effects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change on agriculture in South Asia, these micromodules underscore the critical role of clean energy in mitigating these impacts. It focuses on promoting SIPs in agriculture, presenting a unique opportunity to alleviate poverty, enhance food security, and build a more sustainable and resilient agricultural system in the region.
The micromodules are designed to empower extension workers, field staff, and farmers by providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to promote the adoption of SIPs, ultimately contributing to the sustainable development of the region.
The development of these micromodules marks the initial outcome of IRRI Education’s endeavor to establish collaborative open education partnerships with other research institutions. “ While we are a rice-based research organization, we aim to expand our reach and impact by offering a diverse array of educational resources related to food, land, and water-based systems”, said Gaurav Jaiswal, EdTech Specialist at IRRI Education and Team Lead at the Oline Learning and Product Development Unit.
Micromodules are multimedia-based, interactive e-learning courses that are designed to be short and engaging. They have become a central product of IRRI Education’s online learning initiative, as they facilitate the scalability of learning by providing focused and bite-sized courses. IRRI Education’s micromodules cover a wide range of agricultural topics, including the latest technological advancements, best practices, concepts, and trends.
The micromodules on solar irrigation are now available to access at openlearning.cgiar.org, an open-source Learning Management System that offers learners the freedom to access training and learning resources anytime and anywhere.
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