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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO starts a three-country project on the use of non-conventional water for sustainable integrated agri-aquaculture development in the Near East and North Africa

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Muscat, Oman / Algers, Algeria / Cairo, Egypt

The Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO) organized inception meetings in Muscat, Algers and Cairo, as a start of the three-country project on the use of non-conventional water for sustainable integrated agri-aquaculture development in the Near East and North Africa region.

This three-country project will be implemented in Algeria, Egypt and Oman, gathering relevant stakeholders linked to inland aquaculture and water management in arid lands.  

The inception meeting held in Oman was inaugurated by FAO Representative in the Sultanate, Nora Ourabah Haddad and was attended by officials from the agriculture, fisheries and water authorities.

Ms. Ourabah Haddad described this project as “a direct response to the region’s need for coping with water scarcity while enhancing food security, by introducing best practices to current and traditional agricultural practices.”

In Cairo the meeting was opened by FAO Egypt representative, Hussein Gadain, who exposed that: “this project aims to coordinate, promote and develop national potential on effective smart-water integrated agriculture-aquaculture production in the region, enhancing rural employment and food security, while keeping the crucial sustainable use and conservation of the aquatic resource.”

FAO Senior Fishery and Aquaculture Officer Haydar Fersoy said that: “the project objectives have been discussed in depth, in each concerned country, and a clear joint road map with milestones has been agreed on among the technical national and FAO teams.”

The inception meetings were followed by visits of FAO teams to various integrated agri-aquaculture ongoing projects and meetings with relevant stakeholders, including staff of national programs, research projects, farmers’ associations and private sector.

During the mission in Algeria Cherif Toueilib, FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Officer, exposed that: “Field visits to integrated agri-aquaculture farms allowed the technical teams to have a clear idea of the current situation and to start thinking on the suitable way forward, as the main expected outcome of the project will be the development of national and/or regional larger programs.”

Saed Abdullah Rashid Al-Kharusi, Chairman of the Omani Agricultural Association said: “the efficient and smart use of water in our arid region requires the use of the water for a multi-species production; the joint work and exchange of expertise among the different stakeholders is essential for the success of the project”.



The Near East and North Africa (NENA) region with its generally arid climate, predicted population growth and increased water scarcity, needs a coordinated regional approach, among others, to increase fish production and consumption, rural employment and the sustainable use and conservation of the aquatic resources. In this respect, the integrated aquaculture agriculture (IAA) presents an irreplaceable source of animal protein and essential minerals for the most vulnerable populations.


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