FAO.org

Home > Agwa > News and Events > Details
AgWA
Partnership for agricultural water for Africa

Emerging Practices from Agricultural Water Management in Africa and the Near East

THEMATIC WORKSHOP - CIHEAM BARI, Bari, Italy 28-31 August 2017

28-31 August 2017
Bari,

The development of the water sector is crucially important to cope with water scarcity and with increasing food demand, particularly in countries where agriculture plays an important role both in economic and social development accounting for 60 percent of the total labour force. Notwithstanding the importance of the sector, productivity levels are lagging behind the full potential. There are several alarming facts, such as that without improved efficiency measures, agricultural water consumption is expected to increase by about 20 percent globally by 2050; or that in regions where crops are entirely rain-fed, a reduction of 50 percent in the seasonal rainfall may result in a total crop failure.

Today, aspects of water management are getting intensively interrelated and connected. The debate on devastating climate extremities and water scarcity cannot be brought to success without considering the environmental background, the social impacts, the economic consequences, the technical limits, and the policies harmonized. It can be readily accepted that success depends on a more multidisciplinary, more comprehensive, and more cooperative approach.  

Jointly organized by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), the Land and Water Division (CBL) of FAO, and the Partnership for Agricultural Water in Africa (AgWA), the Thematic Workshop on “Emerging Practices from Agricultural Water Management in Africa and the Near East” was held in Bari from 28 to 31 August 2017. The main objectives of the workshop were to share experiences/best practices, and promote knowledge amongst a wide-range of partners including government and inter-government organizations; research, educational and training institutions; financing institutions; and international water management networks around seven thematic areas of agricultural water management included in four projects implemented by FAO.

The following thematic areas are:

  • Crop Water Productivity: measuring the economic or biophysical gain from the use of a unit of water consumed in crop production
  • Water Efficiency: characterizing, in a specific process, how effective is the use of water
  • Water Harvesting: collecting rainfall for direct application to a cropped area, either stored in the soil profile for immediate uptake by the crop or stored in a reservoir for future productive use.
  • Conjunctive use of surface and groundwater: as an optimal combination of both sources of water in order to minimize the undesirable physical, environmental and economic effects of each solution and to balance the water demand and supply.
  • New techniques in measuring water: boosting application of innovative solutions compared to classic methods, while ensuring measurement precision.
  • Water Accounting (WA): systematically examining the current status and future trends in water supply, demand, accessibility and use within a specific domain as a basis for decision and policy making.
  • Solar Energy in Irrigation: converting sunlight into electricity to lift water twinned with efficient irrigation for resilience and sustainable agriculture.

The thematic areas constituted in four projects, implemented in six countries: 

  • ‘Reduce Vulnerability in Jordan in the Context of Water Scarcity and Increasing Food/Energy Demand’ – funded by the Government of the Swiss Confederation.
  • ‘Coping with water scarcity – the role of agriculture/Phase III: Strengthening national capacities’: Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt’ – funded by the Government of Italy.
  • ‘Strengthening Agricultural Water Efficiency and Productivity on the African and Global Level’ – Burkina Faso, Morocco and Uganda’ – funded by the Government of the Swiss Confederation.
  • ‘Technical Audit of Farm-level Irrigation Modernization Project (FIMP) in Egypt’ – funded by the World Bank through the Government of Egypt.

On the last day of the workshop participants took part in a field trip organized by CIHEAM. During the first part of the visit to the “Coldiretti” producers’ Cooperative in San Ferdinando di Puglia, Bari, the Cooperative’s President, Mr Nunzio Caressa, and the Administrative Director, Mr Donato Resta, explained the productive chain from farmers to producers and, in the specific,  illustrated the wine and fruit production cycles. Later on, participants visited the Reclamation Consortium of the Capitanata area. The Director of the agriculture sector of the Consortium, Mr Luigi Nardella, together with Mr Giuseppe Tucci, from the Consortium’s office in Foggia, and Mr Osvaldo Moro, from the office in San Ferninando, briefed participants on the role of the consortium in all of the activities related to hydraulic infrastructures, accounting measures and employment of modern technologies to increase water productivity and efficiency for associated farmers. The presentation was followed by an engaging Q&A session and a practical demonstration of techniques and measuring tools employed in the Consortium’s plots.

The four day workshop reached a common view and define clear measures to improve Agricultural Water Management both from a theoretical and practical standpoint integrating lessons learned from the current approaches and methodologies.

These main driving questions that guided participants throughout the three days of the thematic workshop were:

  1. How far have the seven thematic areas been applied in target countries?
  2. What are the proven strengthens and weaknesses of applied approaches?
  3. How can the experiences gained be extended in and beyond target countries?

More specific, the objectives of the four days long workshop are:

  • Present approaches and their in-countries’ application.
  • Share experiences and stakeholders’ feedbacks.
  • Discuss proven strengthens and weaknesses of approaches and their in-countries’ application.
  • Raise right questions/concerns for upscaling approaches/their in-countries’ application indicating the possible development potentials and conditions related to each topic.
  • Agree on the way forward for promoting and spreading results achieved.

Concept Note

Workshop programme

Infographic: Emerging Practices from Agricultural Water Management in Africa and the Near East


 Day 1 – Monday, 28 August 2017


Opening statements

CIHEAM Bari

Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

SDC

FAO/AgWA


10.15 – 12.00 

Session 1 – Water Productivity 

Introduction to activities and applied methodologies

Sharing of Country Experiences – Burkina Faso

Sharing of Country Experiences – Morocco

Sharing of Country Experiences – Uganda

Discussion - Thematic Wrap-up

 


13.00-16.00

Session 2 – Water Efficiency 

Introduction to activities and applied methodologies

Sharing of Country Experiences – Burkina Faso

Sharing of Country Experiences – Morocco

Sharing of Country Experiences – Uganda

Water Efficiency – Alternative techniques to canal measurements

Discussion – Thematic Wrap-up


Day 2 – Tuesday, 29 August 2017


9.00-12.30

Session 3 – Water Harvesting/Three-pronged approach

Introduction to activities and applied methodologies

Sharing of Country Experiences – Burkina Faso

Sharing of Country Experiences – Morocco

Sharing of Country Experiences – Uganda

Sharing of Country Experiences – Egypt

Introduction to activities and the three-pronged approach

Sharing of Country Experiences – Jordan

Discussion – Thematic Wrap-up


13.30-16.00

Session 4 – Water Accounting and Auditing

Introduction to activities and applied methodologies

Sharing of Country Experiences – Burkina Faso

Sharing of Country Experiences – Morocco

Sharing of Country Experiences – Uganda

Discussion – Thematic Wrap-up


Day 3 – Wednesday, 30 August 2017


9.00-12.30

Session 5 – Solar Energy for

Irrigation improvement in Egypt

Introduction to activities and applied methodologies

Sharing of Country Experiences – Egypt

Discussion – Thematic Wrap-up

Thematic Meeting Wrap-up


Day 4 – Thursday, 31 August 2017


Field visit

Photo Gallery