Meet to focus on resources for fresh water

DUBAI — The first meetings of the Technical Committee and Steering Committee for the four-year project saving freshwater resources with salt-tolerant forage production in marginal areas of the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region — an opportunity to raise the income of the rural poor, will take place on February 19-21 at the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 19 Feb 2005, 10:44 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:31 PM

The project is based on ICBA's research, which shows that forages produced by irrigation with saline water could lead to sustainable agriculture on marginal land and rangelands and provide additional income to farmers. The objectives are to increase feed availability for livestock through sustainable use of under-utilised saline water resources, to integrate the use of saline water into an overall strategy of sustainable semi-arid and arid farm system management and to develop the capacity of national agricultural research systems.

The project, with a total cost of $4.09 million, is co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the OPEC Fund for Development, a grant from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Comprehensive Assessment of Water through the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and in-kind contributions from ICBA and the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of seven countries.

The IFAD grant amounts to $1.35 million over four years for project research in Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Pakistan, Syria and Tunisia.

The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development is contributing millions of dollars over four years to support project research to be undertaken in Jordan, Palestine, Oman, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

Dr Mohammed Al Attar, Chairman ICBA Board of Directors, ICBA Director General and Chairman of the Project Steering Committee said “This project is the result of nearly four years of effort, consultation and collaboration between ICBA and the seven countries participating. I welcome the distinguished representatives of the project partner countries and donor agencies to the first meetings of the Technical Committee and Steering Committee which will launch the project.”

Dr Al Attar added “I am deeply grateful to IFAD, the Arab Fund, the OPEC Fund and IWMI for financing this project and I am greatly encouraged by the significant contributions that the national research organizations in the seven countries have pledged to the project in terms of their human resources and facilities.”

ICBA was set up to address the challenges facing arid and semi-arid regions over the scarcity of water resources.

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