From July 29th to August 4th 2019 CIHEAM Bari hosts an Egyptian delegation, which participates in a study tour aimed to raise awareness of the best international practices among the ministry personnel focusing on the optimization of irrigation and on the modern methodologies for land reclaimed, applicable to the prevailing conditions of Egypt and to support the ministries to appoint up to four decision makers and FAO Project Managers to participate in the international study tour.
The specific objectives are:
The participants are the decision-makers responsible for the implementation and planning of the new remediation activities of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), the Ministry of Agriculture and Reclamation (MALR) and the FAO personnel involved.
A key challenge for Egyptian agriculture is to feed its increasing population in the context of a raising population, increasing demand on the finite water resources and trade deficit. Its population is expected to raise from 88 million in 2014 to reach 115 million people in 2030 while a dependency on imports of strategic crops (such as wheat, yellow maize, and faba bean) persists. Horizontal expansion in the new land in the desert has long been a key strategic target pursued by successive governments to meet this challenge.
FAO is piloting a data and information management system, based on monitoring and Remote Sensing (RS) data to assist the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) in monitoring the ‘water consumption’ and the ‘water productivity’.
To maximize water productivity, quantitative assessments of water supply and consumption by different users (‘water metrics’), particularly irrigation agriculture are essential in order to allow for educated decision making and respective system improvements. This includes the quantification of actual productivity/efficiency of water use in irrigation agriculture in order to properly intervene to correct possible productivity gaps.
Those projects will set-up and test an automated water consumption monitoring and water accounting system at selected pilot areas for use by MWRI and MALR who are responsible for monitoring water consumption for agricultural purposes accordingly. It will further develop a RS and GIS-based land development monitoring tool for use by MALR, standard processes and methodologies for field data collection, analysis and provision of agricultural extension services through farmer field schools and farmers-to-farmers visits and other means of technology transfer. The tools will be applied on pilot level to be agreed upon during project inception.
The study tour is expected to deliver the following outputs: