SMART-valleys is a low-cost participatory and sustainable approach to develop inland valleys in sub-Saharan Africa for rice-based systems. The SMART-valleys approach has been developed by AfricaRice and its national research and development partners in Benin and Togo.
The SMART-valleys approach allows rice yields to double through improved water control, with only limited additional cost for the producers. Compared to traditional approaches, which involve expensive topographic studies and high investment costs to construct elaborate water control infrastructure, SMART-valleys are low-cost and more sustainable because they are developed and constructed by the farmers themselves.
The SMART-valleys approach follows a step-wise procedure focusing on design, lay-out and construction of low-cost water control infrastructure after a careful selection procedure paying attention to both socio-economic and biophysical factors and making extensive use of farmer knowledge.