Supporting sustainable agricultural development in global drylands

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

FAO and ICARDA confirm partnership for another five years

05/06/2020 - 

In an effort to support sustainable agricultural development and management of natural resources, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) have renewed their partnership for the next five years with the aim to contribute to achieving food security in drylands and marginal environments. 


Drylands cover about 41 percent of the Earth’s land surface – more than 6 billion hectares, distributed among all continents – and are home to an estimated 2 billion people, about 90 percent of them in developing countries. Dryland ecosystems are vulnerable to water shortage, drought, desertification, land-use change and degradation and climate change impacts, with associated risks for the food security and livelihoods of the populations that inhabit these areas.


The renewed collaboration will aim to strengthen the resilience of rural communities and agro-food systems in drylands around the world, combining knowledge and research, and scaling up innovation and technologies to benefit smallholders and family farmers. 


ICARDA, a member of the CGIAR network, is a non-profit agricultural research institute that aims to improve the livelihoods of the resource-poor across the world's dry areas. The institute conducts advanced research and develops innovative solutions in the areas of sustainable land and water management, agrobiodiversity, sustainable livestock production in the context of climate change.


Since 2014, FAO and ICARDA have worked together to disseminate technologies which has improved water management efficiency in rural communities across the Near East, strengthened information andknowledge exchange on water management issues through regional networks and platforms, and undertaken technical collaboration on the use of advanced technologies in field research and projects. 


The partnership renewal and amendment agreement signed by FAO and ICARDA will help to elevate the partnership by expanding the collaboration to a global level, including through the collaboration under the framework of Hand-in-Hand Initiative, led by FAO, and the DryArc Initiative, a CGIAR programme led by ICARDA and based on a partnership between eight CGIAR centers.