Conference key messages and recommendations


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Dr. K. Shideed, ICARDA

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Conference key messages and recommendations

  1. 1. Key messages andrecommendationsInternational Conference on Policies for Water and FoodSecurity in Dry Areas24th to 26th of June, Cairo, EgyptDr. Kamel Shideed, ADG-ICC, ICARDAChair of the International Organizing Committee
  2. 2. Context• Recognizing that,• The temperate and semi-tropical dry areas occupy about 40 percentof the earth’s total land area and are home to more than 2 billionpeople or 30 percent of world population, the majority located in thedeveloping world.• Characterized by natural resources limitation anddegradation, particularly water scarcity, the dry areas have less thaneight percent of the world’s renewable water resources and arechallenged by frequent droughts, extremes of temperature, landdegradation and desertification. Poverty is disproportionallyconcentrated in dry areas; population growth rates are high; womenand children are highly vulnerable and a large proportion of childrenare malnourished. Distress-migration is common.• Climate change will have serious implications for further degradationof natural resources, including the unique biodiversity, and increasealready existing food insecurity and poverty.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt2
  3. 3. Context• The current food production systems and food patterns are characterized byhuge inefficiencies in input use, food loses and food waste. On the otherhand, the use of scarce water resources is characterized by very low on-farmwater use efficiency and excessive use of irrigation water.• The challenge in enhancing water and food security is to remove theinefficiencies in food production and water-use systems. The otherimportant thrust is to increase current production levels to higherproduction frontiers through innovative R-4-D and increased investment inagriculture and water infrastructure and management.• Achieving water and food security requires more than technologies. Enablingpolicies and institutions are critical factors to enhance the uptake andadoption of improved technologies and water saving practices, and thusremoving the inefficiencies in resources use.• The challenge remains on how to ensure reliable food supplies (in adequatequantity and variety of food) to meet the demand of growing populations indifferent agro-ecologies in the phase of climate change and depletinggroundwater, in an environmental friendly manner at reasonable andaffordable prices for consumers while making agriculture production anattractive business for farmers.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt3
  4. 4. Context• It is within this context and thrust, the InternationalConference on Policies for Water and Food Security inDry Areas is co-organized by the Egyptian Ministry ofAgriculture and Land reclamation and its AgriculturalResearch Center, ICARDA, FAO, IFAD and IRDC. Theconference was held in Cairo on 24-26 June, 2013 andattended by some 200 policy makers, donors, experts,developmental organizations, research-for- developmentorganizations and scientists from 28 countries and 8international organizations and 7 donors representativesfrom across the globe.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt4
  5. 5. Key Messages (and issues)• The need for incentives for sustainable, efficient and equitable waterallocation and use. Incentives alone are necessary condition. Togetherwith conductive policy and institutional options, and involvement oflocal communities and other actors, the incentives will optimize the useof scarce water resources and increase on-farm water useefficiency/water productivity in rainfed areas and reduce excessiveirrigation water use and waste in dry areas.• In developing countries, agriculture is the back bone for nationaleconomic growth. Beside its direct contribution to gross domesticproduction (GDP), it triggers many services including agro-industries, and transport as examples. Agriculture will continue as themajor employment market and job creation in the economies ofdeveloping countries in dry areas. Close linkages and interactionsbetween water management, food security and employment. This isparticularly true within food value chains and added value functions ofagricultural commodities, inputs and services. Policy makers need tovalue the social and environmental benefits of Agriculture beside itseconomic value.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt5
  6. 6. Key Messages (and issues)• Regardless of the advancement of science and technology andsuccessful case studies in many countries, these successes andimproved technologies have not been widely disseminated andadopted due to the weaknesses in scaling up/out approaches, andlack of enabling policies and institutions. For example, weakextension institutions is a common constraint in many developingcountries.• Better understand the main reasons for the small-scale impactregardless of several successful pilot experiences.• Effective responses to water and food security challenges requireexplicit water and food security strategies which are absent in manydeveloping countries in dry areas, despite the existing vision on theimportance of water and food securityInternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt6
  7. 7. Key Messages (and issues)• The need for a more comprehensive approach to water scarcity to improvewater management. Accountability of scarcity at various scales (farm, district,irrigation scheme, national, river basin and global levels) is emerging as aprincipal constraint to better water sector performance.• Emphasize the urgent need for increased investments in agriculture, water andin research for development (R-4-D) institutions, however, investments alone arenot sufficient; enabling policies and institutions are equally important to bettertarget the investments to achieve water and food security. This includesrestructuring subsidies that distort production decisions and encourage misuseof scarce water resources. The three dimensions of water costing/valuing, policyand water and land property rights need to be incorporated in an integratedmanner.• The importance of and the need for social protection measures, such as safetynets and incentive packages to protect small farmers from price volatility in theinternational markets and production risks (originated from rainfed farming,incidents of droughts and climate change). This requires adequate access andmore updated information.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt7
  8. 8. Key Messages (and issues)• The need to put in place effective, dynamic and responsive institutionaland information sharing systems that ensures delivery of qualityservices to all stakeholders, particularly farmers who are willing to payfor good services. Hence, there is a need for more investments toimprove the service delivery and promote demand driven approachesfor technology dissemination.• ICT can play a key role in enhancing information flows, involve privatesector and improve risk management strategies. The need for better“knowledge transformation” of research and policy options to makethem more useful to smallholder farmers.• Although more agricultural research is needed, technologies are alreadyavailable to enhance both water use efficiency and food production in asustainable manner but these technologies are not finding their way tothe end users or the farmers.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt8
  9. 9. Recommendations• Develop country food and water security strategies withneeded investment, incentives and policy options to guidewater investments following integrated system and eco-efficient approach.• Given the fact that rainfed farming is the major source forfood security in developing countries of dry areas, it isimperative that more investment is directed towardsincreasing rainwater productivity, reducing yield gap, andmanaging risk. This requires targeted policy options and morepublic investments and incentive packages for dry areas toincrease the productivity and resilience of the rainfed farmingsystems.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt9
  10. 10. Recommendations• Adopt a regional approach (or basin-level approach) for water andfood security and integrated watershed management approach,given the fact that most of the surface water resources are sharedamong neighboring countries, and that the natural resource base forindividual countries is not sufficient to achieve self-sufficiency infood security. Regional integration and trade can substantiallycontribute to achieve self-reliance in water and food security.• The excessive use of irrigation water from surface and groundwaterrequires policy and institutional measure for water valuation andcosting. This needs to be carefully developed and implemented toensure needed efficiency targets at economic, environmental andsocial dimensions keeping in mind the interest of small farmers whoproduce 80% of the food in certain developing countries.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt10
  11. 11. Recommendations• The depletion of groundwater in dry areas has reached alarminglevels, leading to groundwater mining and desertification, policy andinstitutional options are strongly recommended to change croppingpatterns in favor of less water-consuming commodities and optimizethe use of groundwater on sustainable basis. This require the use ofalternative energy sources.• Enhance the capacities of countries in agricultural policydevelopment, analysis, implementation and monitoring andevaluation. This involves the analysis of trade-offs associated withalternative policy and technological options, ex-ante assessment ofthe potential impacts of different policies, and ex-post evaluation tothe consequences of implemented policies. An important dimensionhere is the assessment of the effectiveness of existing agriculturalpolicies and draw lessons learned to guide and better informscience- and evidence-based inductive policies and institutions.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt11
  12. 12. Recommendations• Develop more effective methodologies and approaches toenhance the dissemination and adoption of improvedproduction and water-saving technologies. Extensionstrengthening and support are critical to improve smallfarmers’ access to improved knowledge. In this regard, it isstrongly recommended to enhance capacity development ofextension institutions and help them to synthesize productionpackages and share the successful case studies and otherexperiences for their scaling up/out to achieve sizeable impacton water and food security.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt12
  13. 13. The way forward• Establish a “Strategic Partnership Framework for Enhancing Waterand Food Security in Dry Areas” to better coordinate andcomplement the efforts of national, regional and internationalorganizations to promote existing knowledge, and technical,enabling institutional and policy options to achieve sustainableproductivity growth, increase on-farm water use efficiency, andimprove access of small farmers to water and improved knowledge.This partnership framework would be established by ICARDA, FAO,IFAD and IDRC and jointly sign a foundation agreement. It is open tocountries and other organizations. It is suggested that ICARDA tocoordinate this partnership framework and activate it particularlythrough its lead of the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systemswhich target enhancing food security and improving livelihoods infive targeted regions globally.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt13
  14. 14. The way forward• Develop a cooperative program including ICARDA, FAO, IFAD,IFPRI and IWMI, among NARS and other partners to develop,analyze and promote agricultural policies and institutionaloptions to enhance water and food security, play the policyadvocacy role for policy implementation, and help countries indeveloping and implementing water and food securitystrategies.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt14
  15. 15. The way forward• The organizers and other partners to call for similarconference in 2017 to present the progress towards theimplementation of the conference recommendations and tobetter respond to emerging challenges and constraints.InternationalConferenceonPoliciesforWaterandFoodSecurityinDryAreas–24-26June,Cairo,Egypt15
  16. 16. Thanks for Your Attention