Supplemental irrigation for Improved Rainfed Agriculture in WANA Region
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Theib Oweis, Ahmed Hachum. (27/1/2009). Supplemental irrigation for Improved Rainfed Agriculture in WANA Region, in "Rainfed Agriculture: Unlocking the Potential. Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture ". United Kingdom: CAB International.
Most of the 852 million poor people in the world live in the developing countries of Asia and Africa, more so in drylands/rainfed areas. These rainfed areas are hot beds of poverty, malnutrition, water scarcity, severe land degradation and poor physical and social infrastructure. Though rainfed agriculture constitutes 80% of global agriculture and plays a crucial role in achieving food security, increasing water scarcity and climate change threaten to affect rainfed areas and their people sowing to their vulnerability to drought during the crop-growing season. A Comprehensive Assessment (CA) of Water ford Food and Water for Life, undertaken by a consortium of dedicated scientists from different institutions and rainfed areas and coordinated by the International Crops Research Institute for the semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), revealed that global food security is possible with existing water resources. However, it calls for considerable efforts to improve water management to enhance water use efﬁciency in all sectors. The Comprehensive Assessment demonstrated that current farmers’ yields in rainfed areas are two- to ﬁvefold lower than achievable potential yields and that current rainwater useefﬁciency is only 35–45% in most rainfed areas. Water used for food production in rainfed areas isalmost threefold higher than that used in irrigated systems. Long-term experiments, as well as yieldgap analysis using crop simulation models and researchers’ managed trials on farmers’ ﬁeldshave, demonstrated that crop yields in rainfed areas can go up as high as 5 t/ha under semi-arid tropical Indian conditions. Large yield gaps existin a number of rainfed crops such as maize,sorghum, pigeonpea, groundnut, soybean, pearl millet, chickpea, wheat and paddy in differentcountries of Asia and Africa. Given such potential, the assessmentconcluded that yields could easily be doubled in rainfed areas of Asia and quadrupled in Africa,provided the adoption of available improvedsoil, water, crop and pest management optionson farmers’ ﬁelds is enhanced. It stronglyfavours abolishing the artiﬁcial divide betweendryland and irrigated systems with its biastowards irrigation management. Written by reputed specialists in rainfed agri-culture, representing three premier international institutes – ICRISAT, the Stockholm EnvironmentInstitute (SEI) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), the book is a synthesis of the voluminous research undertaken by the CA team. It covers all aspectsof rainfed agriculture, starting with its potential, current status, rainwater harvesting and supple-mentary irrigation to policies, approaches, insti-tutions for upscaling, and impacts of integratedwater management programmes in rainfed areas. Rainfed Agriculture: Unlocking the Potential shows that the road to realizing a second GreenRevolution lies in greening drylands to achieve global food security, reduce poverty and protect the environment. It is a very valuable resource material for researchers, policy makers, develop-ment investors, development workers and students.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge