Prospects for Agricultural Water Productivity, Efficiency and Saving in the NENA Region


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Prospects for Agricultural Water Productivity, Efficiency and Saving in the NENA Region, By Pasquale STEDUTO, Deputy FAO Regional Representative Near East & North Africa Office Cairo, Egypt, Land and Water Days in Near East & North Africa, 15-18 December 2013, Amman, Jordan

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Prospects for Agricultural Water Productivity, Efficiency and Saving in the NENA Region

  1. 1. Prospects for Agricultural Water Productivity, Efficiency and Saving in the NENA Region Pasquale STEDUTO Deputy FAO Regional Representative Near East & North Africa Office Cairo, Egypt Amman, Jordan 15-18 December, 2013
  2. 2. The context A. Food Security Soaring of food prices Prices volatility Food crisis
  3. 3. • Social unrest (Lagi et al., 2011)
  4. 4. • Wheat import
  5. 5. • Demography
  6. 6. B. Water Scarcity Negligible or No Water scarcity Physical Water scarcity No data Incipient physical Water scarcity Economic Water scarcity
  7. 7. Simple rules of thumb: 1 liter of water per 1 Kcal 1.5 m3 of water per 1 kg of wheat 15m3 of water per 1 kg of beef meat (consumed water)
  8. 8. C. Collateral Distresses • Increased competition for Natural Resources • Increased degradation of Natural Resources • Uncertain financial situations • Progressive intensification of energy demand (+50% by 2050)
  9. 9. • Increased climate variability and change runoff (Milly et al., 2005) ≈ year 2050
  10. 10. The challenge: + food; - water • Reducing food losses and waste 30% • Augment the availability of water (+virtual) • Increasing the efficiency and productivity of water use
  11. 11. Agricultural Water Productivity Water Productivity = the beneficial output per unit of water used beneficial output = physical, economical, social, environmental water used = withdrawn/diverted, applied, consumed typical units = Kg/m3, Kcal/m3, $/m3, …
  12. 12. some considerations: • Increasing water productivity is not necessarily synonymous of water saving (increased WP may come with increased consumption) • high water productivity does not mean high yield (we may have high WP with low yield) • non water-related practices and factors are also very important to increase water productivity (pest and diseases control, fertility management, seeds, market, institutions, etc.)
  13. 13. The necessary distinctions in water use Beneficial (T) Consumptive use (Water Productivity) Non-beneficial (ES/Tw) Recoverable (D) Non-consumptive use (irrigation efficiency) (quality) Non-recoverable
  14. 14. Dry-Land Maize Loess Plateau - China WP=1.64 kg/m3 (conventional practices) WP=2.53 kg/m3 (plastic-film mulching) (≈ + 60%) Courtesy of prof. Shulan Zhang (Northwest A&F University)
  15. 15. Some experimental values of wheat WP in the NENA Region (kg of grain per m3) Morocco 0.45-1.15 Iran 0.46-1.28 Algeria Tunisia 0.46-0.53 (rainfed) 0.70-1.80 (irrigated) ≈ 0.62 (long term average) Lebanon 0.62-0.84 Jordan 0.45-0.86 Syria 0.63-0.91 (rainfed) 0.80-1.12 (irrigated) Turkey 0.40-1.13 Large variability within and between Countries
  16. 16. World wheat WP assessment (base-line 2000-05; 1km pixel)
  17. 17. World wheat WP score normalized for climate (base-line 2000-05; 1km pixel)
  18. 18. Morocco (2010-11; 30m pixel)
  19. 19. Syria (2010-11; 30m pixel)
  20. 20. Wheat Yield & WP gaps From Sadras & Angus (2006)
  21. 21. Source of variability of WP Physical (Y, biomass, Kcal per m3) • Climatic environment - seasons • Crops/varieties - ET - A/T - CO2 • Management - phenology - soil health - canopy - fertility - roots - pest/diseases/weeds - resistances - water Economic ($ per m3) soil moisture • Market irrigation - prices of produces - prices of input factors - risks
  22. 22. Proposal of a work plan [inception phase] establish a platform of stakeholders in representation of selected countries, key organizations, authorities, etc. [identification phase] select relevant agricultural systems where to intervene (rainfed, irrigated, agro-pastoral, cropping systems, etc.) [framework-definition phase] Update the operational definition of water productivity and adopt a simple but practical framework as to how to assess water productivity in different agricultural systems
  23. 23. [diagnostic phase] ‘diagnosis’ of the selected systems/sub-systems in terms of ‘yield’ (physical –biomass/yield–, economical, etc.), ‘yield gaps’, water use (‘consumptive’, non-consumptive’), as well as ‘management’, ‘infrastructural, ‘governance’ (institutional and policy) and ‘non-management’ components of the systems affecting water productivity (valuation) A special focus would be given to policies for water allocation, water demand management, water pricing and scaling up of modern technology + institutions One additional focus can be on assessing field experience in managing watershed and their contribution (including investments) on soil moisture and recharging ground water
  24. 24. [intervention phase] ‘design’ the interventions that would introduce ‘changes’ into the above mentioned ‘components’ with the objective of improving agricultural water productivity. A clear ‘business model’ and a consistent ‘water-accounting/auditing’ framework should be applied to each type or set of interventions in order to have always clear the ‘gain’ for corresponding ‘losses’ of water [monitoring-WP phase] develop a robust ‘benchmarking’ & ‘monitoring’ system to: • quantify without ambiguity the raise of water productivity; • identify where the water saved (if any) goes; • evaluate the success of interventions, Indicators and time-bounded targets will be defined
  25. 25. Concluding Remarks • The water scarcity situation in the NENA Region requires high-impact strategies in support of food and water securities • There is enough scope and variability of WP in the NENA Region to expect significant potential gain in water saving and food production by focusing on its improvement (10-40%) • Given the multiple interactions between factors influencing WP, a robust water accounting and monitoring system is key
  26. 26. • Achieving high-impact will require a critical mass of commitments, financial resources and an effective work plan on medium term • Farmers are the ultimate managers of natural resources (soil/water). They need to be engaged from the on-set in any work-plan • Innovative governance promoting the inclusion of farmers, researchers, governmental authorities and private sector in improving WP has shown to be key for achieving results
  27. 27. Thank You