Crop productivity in Africa

The project Water Productivity Improvement in Practice (Water-PIP), supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to facilitate the increase in crop water productivity in Middle East and Africa region. Farmers from this area have been trying to discover new ways to sustainably produce more and better crops and increase their water productivity, such as by the use of drip irrigation. A set of videos have been produced under the project presenting some of the Water-PIP activities and their impact. Among others a video showing how to use the FAO developed WaPOR database.

Demand for water to be increased in the future

Experts believe that the world might go through a difficult time to meet the demand for food in a sustainable way in the next few decades, due to the increasing population and the degradation of the soil. Studies show that by 2050, the demand for food will be increased by approximately 60%, in a time where there is already increasing pressure on the quality and quantity of water. Measures to transform and improve the use of water in agriculture must be taken as fast as possible, especially to help farmers, since 70% of water available for use goes to farming every year. The goal of the Water-PIP project is to introduce tangible measures to improve water productivity based on agricultural water management solutions and expertise available within the Netherlands-based water sector. Identifying production gaps and water productivity gaps will support the development of plans and measures to close these gaps, including an understanding of the socio-economic context, particular the social water productivity.

WaPOR Database

The Water-PIP project works with the FAO developed WaPOR (Water Productivity through Open access of Remotely sensed derived data), database. The development of the portal of this database was supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contribute to their key policy priority to enhance water productivity in the agricultural sector by 25%. Through this database remote sensing technologies can be used to monitor and report on agricultural water productivity in Africa and the Middle East. To understand how to use the database have a look at this video. In the poster on the right side more information can be found on the study within the Water-PIP project on verifying the database using case studies from Ethiopia. This poster was presented at the the Arab Water Week, Jordan 2019.

Water PIP activities

Some of the other activities that the Water-PIP team is involved in are highlighted in a set of videos produced under the project. These videos give a better understanding of the project, the activities and their impact:

  • To understand how water productivity works and how a proper water management can help farmers on how to produce more effectively watch this video.
  • In this video a farmer explains how a new irrigation system, called drip irrigation, has helped him to manage water and energy in a more sustainable way. The farmers in the Tete Province have set up this system to help them cut down on water use, reduce costs, and even limit weed growth.
  • This last video explains the concept of “Social Water productivity” and how it looks at equitable distribution of generated agricultural output per water unit and how it can be used as a parameter for water allocation.

To read more about the project visit their project page here.

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