Identification and detailed analysis of the major drivers
of future demand of agricultural produce in the Nile basin.
A set of policy relevant scenarios, describing equally plausible
but alternative futures with respect to agricultural production
and food security in the 10 riparian countries for the year
activities in the Nile countries account for 80% of all
water use in the basin, while it represents the dominant
economic sector in nine out of ten Nile riparians. Future
agricultural development will inevitable impact the demand
on the scarce Nile resource and is therefore a key-parameter
in developing benefit-sharing plans. Local demand for agricultural
produce is anticipated to grow in line with population increase
and income growth, while commercial farming is increasingly
producing agricultural commodities for export.
of demand for food and other agricultural produce in the
Nile countries are needed to estimate agricultural water
use in the year 2030. This requires a set of demand scenarios
describing possible futures in terms of population growth,
the distribution between rural and urban populations, the
development of commercial agriculture, and other drivers.
growing use of scenarios as anticipatory planning tools
results from the robustness and generality of the approach.
Decision makers generally recognize the need to make an
investment in thinking about the future in order to cope
with tomorrow’s issues and to be able to intervene
more effectively. While the future is inherently uncertain,
our ignorance is not total. Many phenomena exhibit considerable
inertia and the underlying causal structure in events leads
to a measure of predictability. The question is how to combine
predictable elements of the future with key uncertainties.
Scenarios have proven effective in this process. The approach
considers multiple futures, each determined by how key uncertainties
play out as a function of a different underlying structure
of cause and effect.
identifying and analysing major drivers, decision makers
will enhance their understanding of the underlying structure.
In a world of increasing information overload, this facilitates
to quickly interpret information from the environment and
recognize new developments early on.
causal stories are an effective means of communication with
multiple stakeholders at all reaches of society. A narrative
is an efficient and intuitive data organization tool, bringing
a wide spectrum of seemingly unrelated information in a
mutual context. In particular when dealing with non-specialists,
a set of stories about the future could assist in building
support for policy measures.
global initiatives have developed scenarios in the recent
past: IPCC, the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, and the
Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture
have all built scenarios which can be used as a basis for
the development of a Nile-specific set of agricultural demand
scenarios. The scenarios will describe possible futures
in terms of population growth, urbanization trends, agricultural
factors like commercial farming, expansion of irrigation,
and the volatility of the rainfed sector, as well as other
major drivers of demand for agricultural produce. The baseline
is provided by the AT2030 dataset, which is FAO’s
estimate of the probable future.
regional workshop with selected specialists, key stakeholders,
and policy makers is scheduled in October 2006 to identify
major drivers of demand of agricultural produce. For each
identified driver, the underlying structure will be analysed
in depth. This will rely heavily on work by specialized
agencies, like for example UNDP for trends in population
growth and urbanization, and FAO for demand for irrigated
production. Economic factors and incentives will be taken
into consideration, as well as trends in global trade. The
natural resource base needs to be considered as it can pose
regional and local constraints.
second regional workshop will use the acquired insight to
build a set of value-neutral, internally consistent, and
equally plausible stories on how demand for agricultural
produce in the Nile basin may develop.
set of scenarios will be used to assess the agricultural
developments and associated water use in the Nile basin
in the year 2030.