to other areas of the world, irrigated agriculture is most intensively practiced
in the monsoon areas of Asia. Worldwide around 20% of all cultivated land
is irrigated. But in the monsoon areas of South and South East Asia 38% of
all agriculture is irrigated, compared to 34% in North Africa and the Near
East, 13% in Latin America, 3% in Sub-Saharan Africa and 12% in industrialised
countries. In these monsoon areas, the agricultural sector uses about 80%
of all water that is withdrawn and 45% of all irrigated land is estimated
to be cultivated with paddy rice. It is therefore recommendable to optimise
the water use for paddy irrigation in order to safe water for other purposes.
The "Information and reporting system for water and
agriculture in Asian monsoon areas" is funded by the
Japanese Government through project GCP/INT/861/JPN: "Evaluation
Study of Paddy Irrigation under Monsoon Regime" (ESPIM).
By providing a possibility to assess and monitor the irrigation
and drainage sector in the Asian Monsoon region in general
and the paddy production systems in particular, the ESPIM-project
will help address the three main issues of major importance
related to irrigated agriculture:
the impact of irrigation and drainage in paddy production
on the natural water balance;
the role of irrigation and drainage in paddy production
in global food production and food security;
the relation between irrigated agriculture and the environment
in the Asian Monsoon region.
The immediate objectives of the ESPIM-project to address
these issues are defined as:
developing an information and reporting system for water
in agriculture under monsoon regime;
promoting and developing improved monitoring capacities
regarding irrigation and drainage;
assisting in policy-making processes for improving management
of agricultural water resources.