FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO is supporting the update of the Irrigation Management mobile application of the Institute of Field Crops in Tunisia.

October 2021_The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Tunisia supported the Tunisian National Institute of Field Crops (INGC) to update the mobile irrigation management application "Irey". Dedicated for Tunisian cereal growers, this application allows farmers to register for an online platform and thereby receive personalized notifications and recommendations concerning irrigation periods and the quantities required.

The first version of this application was launched by the INGC in 2015, where 100 farmers and technicians signed up from the first days after the launch. When registering, the farmer provides information regarding the location of his plots, the nature of the soil, the date of sowing, and the type of cereals.

The application is a decision support tool that calculates the water balance per plot and suggests a tailor-made irrigation schedule to the farmer. This calendar helps the farmer to optimize his productivity, reduce the costs associated with irrigation and, ultimately, improve his income.

The INGC are counting on this application to reach 8 000 irrigated grain farmers.

The update of this application has started in 2020. According to Mr. Anis Bousselmi, the INGC expert in irrigation and precision agriculture, “This update will come to inject data from remote sensing through different sources.We will now use the reference evapotranspiration (ET0) data from the FAO WaPOR water productivity platform that provides data for Tunisia at 100 m, and ET0 at 20 km for the whole Africa and the Near East. We will also integrate data from the NASA Access Viewer platform for temperature estimation and calculation of the plant's growing degree-day. These data will bring more precision to the calculations and therefore more reliable and precise results”

“In addition to technical improvements, the new version of the application will be more ergonomic and easier to use. The farmer could use his social media accounts, widely used in Tunisia, to access them. Continued Mr. Bousselmi.

An agreement is being negotiated with the private operator Telnet for the development of 100 percent Tunisian soil moisture sensors. These connected probes should allow farmers to reduce their water consumption and, more generally, to connect soil monitoring sensors to optimize soil management.

This activity is implemented under the regional project “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for water efficiency/ productivity and water sustainability in the NENA countries” under the regional Water Scarcity Initiative. This project is funded by the Swedish International Cooperation and Development Agency.

Access ‘WaPOR – remote sensing for water productivity’ HERE.