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Agricultural technological innovation in MENA in the context of climate change: Are we up for the challenge?

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Aly Abousabaa
Director General ICARDA

COP22 Session - November 16th 2016, Coping with Climate Change in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region Meeting future food demand through SCIENCE & INNOVATION

Published in: Environment
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Agricultural technological innovation in MENA in the context of climate change: Are we up for the challenge?

  1. 1. Coping with Climate Change in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region MEETING FUTURE FOOD DEMAND THROUGH SCIENCE & INNOVATION Aly Abousabaa Director General ICARDA November 16, 2016 Agricultural technological innovation in MENA in the context of climate change: Are we up for the challenge?
  2. 2. 1 Presentation Outline • Todays challenges - tomorrows solutions in the MENA • Addressing the challenges in food security through science • Conding remarks
  3. 3. 2 1. Todays challenges tomorrows solutions – Socio- economic • Youth employment highest in the world (24-29% in males, 37-44% in females) • 56% of population are urban • Water scarcity highest in the world reduced GDP • Climate change expected to reduce household income by 7% over next 30-40 years.
  4. 4. Relative change of mean annual precipitation 1980/1999 to 2080/2099, scenario A1b, average of 21 GCMs (compiled by GIS Unit ICARDA, based on partial maps in Christensen et al., 2007) 1. MENA is becoming hotter and dryer 1980/1999 to 2080/2099
  5. 5. Sources: adapted from USDA 2011 Global Trade: Net cereal imports (in million MT) by region, 2010 +91.2 +6.3 North America Latin America and the Caribbean Sub-Saharan Africa -18.0 +17.5 Europe -65.8 MENA Region +16.1 Former Soviet Union -58.8 Asia Oceania Net Exports Net Imports + - +18.6 1. Increased dependency on imports for food security
  6. 6. 5 • Urbanization increased wheat in African diets. • Heat stress in SSA is a major constraint on wheat production. • Low yields restrict farmer incomes increases countries dependence on imports. • Three decades of research developed heat and drought tolerant wheat varieties. 2. Climate-resilient Crops – Wheat for Africa
  7. 7. 6 • Introduction of high yielding, heat tolerant, disease resistant, and climate smart wheat increased yields of 5 to 6 t ha-1 in farmers’ fields, significantly higher than 1 to 2 t ha-1 average of traditional varieties. • Farmers and policy makers working together to curb increasing and unsustainable wheat imports through promotion of these varieties. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Reyna Norman Soonot-5 local check heat tolerant varieties Yield performance of 3 newly released heat tolentat varieties Vs local wheat In Nigeia 2. Climate-resilient Crops – Wheat for Africa
  8. 8. 2. Science and Technology – Learnings from MENA
  9. 9. 8 Raised bed combination planter (RBP) and furrow maker  Reduce applied water by 30%  Increase yields by 25%  Reduce seed rate by 50%  Increase WUE by 72%  Scaling to 300,000 ha in Egypt (2yrs)  Inexpensive machines locally manufactured 2. Managing severe water scarcity at the farm
  10. 10. FP: furrows irrigation FlP: flat bed irrigation RBP: raised bed irrigation
  11. 11. 10 Cactus cladodes and fruits as animal feed 2. Crop-Livestock systems
  12. 12. The Vallerani for Rangelands (badia) rehabilitation Water harvesting using mechanized laser guided contouring and re- establishment of shrubs. Water stored in soils and aquifer Improved grazing management 2. Rehabilitating rangelands in the MENA Region Improved productivity and combating desertification
  13. 13. 2. Conservation agriculture (Zero Tillage)  Introduced in North Africa, beginning in Morocco during the early 1980s.  Areas under CA limited to about 6000 ha in Morocco, 12000 ha in Tunisia, and 5500 ha in Algeria (2011)  Why? Two major constraints: stubble/ residue management and machinery costs
  14. 14. 2. Conservation agriculture Stubble grazing, an old and persisting practice in cereal-based farming systems, poses a great challenge to conservation agriculture adoption in North Africa Locally manufacture low-cost ZT seed drills enusre scaling CA technology in North Africa.
  15. 15. 2. CA reduce water erosion CA Reduce Soil Erosion by 50% Moussadek et al. (2011), Canadian Journal of Soil Science NT + 50 Residue NT + no Residue CT
  16. 16. 15 3. Concluding remarks • Science and innovation will be critical in meeting future food and nutrition security in the face of climate change. • In a hotter and dryer world the MENA region is well placed to contribute Globally to building the technological innovations required for adaptation and mitigation. • AAA initiative is well placed to be the conduit for technological innovation into Africa.

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