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1444 - Iraq’s Strategy for Innovative Rice Irrigation and Water Management in Iraq

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Author: Khidir Abas Hameed
Title: Iraq’s Strategy for Innovative Rice Irrigation and Water Management in Iraq
Presented at: Iraq’s Integrated Drought Risk Management Framework: The Validation Workshop
Venue: Amman, Jordan
Date: March 2-5, 2014
Sponsor: UNDP

Published in: Technology
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1444 - Iraq’s Strategy for Innovative Rice Irrigation and Water Management in Iraq

  1. 1. 0 Iraq’s Integrated Drought Risk Management Framework The Validation Workshop, Amman, Jordan March 2nd to 5th Khidhir Abbas Hameed Ministry of Agriculture Agricultural Research Office Iraq’s Strategy for Innovative Rice Irrigation and Water Management in Iraq
  2. 2. 1 Overview • Climate: excessive aridity, fluctuating rainfall (100 – 200 mm in central and south areas, up to 1000 mm in northern area) Precipitation: 155 billion m³per year, only 10% can be used for irrigation • Surface Water: The E-Tigris water in 1990 was app. 78-80 BCM, recently has declined to half this amount • Ground Water: 2.4 BCM used for irrigation The aridity of the climate makes irrigation or special dry farming techniques absolutely necessary Less water results usually in declining productivity of rice 1
  3. 3. 2 Iraq’s Challenge Current farmers’ practice: Standing water on the soil surface to a depth of 5–20 cm throughout the rice cycle • Large quantities of water are required, especially traditional rice irrigation needs as much as 100,000 m¯³ ha¯¹/season • The average rice-growing area is 125,000 ha¯¹, producing 392,950 tons of paddy with average yield 3.16 tons ha¯¹ • The traditional approach has exhausted the rice land, so yield is not reaching more than 3 ton / ha New strategy is needed to maintain high productivity of rice with less water (increasing water use efficiency, WUE) 2
  4. 4. 3 Research Objectives Agricultural Research Office has adapted internationally best- practice approach called the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), developed in Madagascar and applied already in >50 other countries Objectives: • Increase rice yield production and improve soil conditions • Support farmers to gain better understanding of agronomic principles through effective and efficient management approach helping them increase their net incomes 3
  5. 5. 4 SRI Practices • Transplant young seedlings (>15 d) • Give the plants wide spacing • Keep the soil well-aerated with sufficiently moisture, no flooding • Use interval (intermittent) irrigation during vegetative growth phase • Use weeding practices that aerate the soil (by using rotary hoe) • Provide nutrients, preferably organic, to feed the soil as well as the plants 4 Prof. Norman Uphoff , Director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, Ithaca, NY, USA , with Dr. Khidhir A. Hameed
  6. 6. 5 SRI Performance: Past Nine Years in Iraq 2005: Started with two of the SRI practices (wide spacing and young seedlings) with ¼ ha and just one farmer. Average yield was increased by 18%. 2006: Carried out of one SRI trial using organic matter at MRRS . Expanded the use of wide spacing and young seedlings (on 2 ha with 8 farmers ) 2007: Carried out four SRI trials, two SRI comparison fields, and 14 SRI demonstration fields, using clover crop as a green manure for improve of the soil fertility (11 ha with 16 farmers)
  7. 7. 6 SRI Performance: Past Nine Years in Iraq 2009-2013: Implemented SRI method on a large-scale in three provinces. The harvested yield has increased by 20% on average compared with conventional methods (dry and wet sowing) with the same variety of Jasmine rice. The benefits obtained with SRI practice: feeding the soil to improve its fertility, reduction in the requirements for irrigation water, and increased net income for farmers. The highest average harvested yield reached 7.2 tons/ha, and lowest was 6.4 tons/ha - not yet using full set of SRI practices.
  8. 8. 7 Water Consumption for Different Rice Cultivation Methods Water consumption (m³/ha) Irrigation daysCultivation method 94,806132Direct seeding (Wet method) 85,887123Direct seeding (Dry method) 75,275132Manual transplanting 42,97176Short growth duration varieties 21,60095SRI METHOD 20,500132Sprinkle irrigation
  9. 9. 8 Comparison of SRI Methods vs. Conventional Methods Different / more productive phenotypes from same genotype
  10. 10. 9 The Way Forward • Studies on nutrient management with special reference to benefits and costs of using organic sources of nutrients • Precise quantification of savings in water • Studies on microbial activity and detailed work on root system. • Identification of locations which are most suitable for SRI with socio-economic analysis of SRI effects • Application of eco-friendly methods to save the environment • Improve local rice varieties adaptable to drought and salinity, tolerance of water stress, and high yield with good quality • Develop a strategy to use sustainable saline water for irrigation and reclamation • Implementing of SRI system into large-scale areas
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