Calcim-2 Program

Seeking to improve water productivity in Central Asia

The University of Cordoba (UCO) is hosting, from Monday, January 14th until Friday, January 18, a training workshop on irrigation water management, water productivity, and sustainability in Central Asia. This is part of the FAO's GEF program 'Integrated management of natural resources in landscapes of agricultural production prone to drought and affected by salt in Central Asia and Turkey (Cacilm-2).'

According to the UCO, the Cacilm-2 program arises from the need to address the problems of soil degradation, high salinity, and water scarcity that plague the region of Central Asia. A research team will work for four years to find the most appropriate management strategies to recover soil health and to manage it more efficiently to achieve having a sustainable agricultural production and environment in five countries: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. The inclusion of Turkey in this project derives from the experience in this type of strategies in the region, which will provide training and successful cases in the management of natural resources.

The professor of Plant Production at UCO, Elias Fereres, is the coordinator of the workshop, which is being attended by 20 experts from the program's partner countries. Fereres will train the attendees in the use of AquaCrop, a tool developed by FAO that allows modeling a limited water productivity and assess the effects of crop production management.

Fereres participated in the development of this tool that allows planning agricultural decisions, both in rain-fed and irrigated agriculture, and implement strategies under water-deficient conditions maximizing productivity through irrigation strategies and specific crop management practices.

The head of the FAO for projects related to water and land in Central Asia, Sara Marjani Zadeh, has highlighted the importance of the role of the UCO as a point of reference in terms of training and experience in sustainable management of agricultural resources, and as an institution of support in the implementation of these activities in the framework of the project.

After the introductory session, in which the specific problems of each country were presented, the assistants will learn how to use AquaCrop while taking into account different parameters, such as salinity, climate change, irrigation management, or the design of strategies at the level of exploitation. The training will be carried out by Elias Fereres, Doctor Margarita Garcia, and professors and researchers Manuel Lopez, Monica Espadafor, Jose Berni, and Francisco Villalobos.

Source: Europa Press


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