GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Improving the livelihood of small farmers in the Arabian Peninsula through increasing land and water productivity: A transition towards green economy F. Awawdeh1, A. Ouled Belgacem1, N. Mazahrih1, A. Nejatian1, M. Moussa2 and A. Al Bakri3 1 International Center of Agricultural Research. Arabian Peninsula Regional Program. Dubai, UAE. 2 Ministry of Environment and Water, UAE. 3 Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Oman
Paper Proposal Text :
The Arabian Peninsula which includes GCC countries and Yemen is characterized by extreme aridity and limited renewable water resources. It covers a vast landmass of about three million km2 where most of the land is unsuitable for agriculture, the cultivated area estimated to be less than 3% of the total land area, and only about 10% of which under modern irrigation systems. Over 95% of the land area suffers from some forms of desertification.
ICARDA with full collaboration of the different national research and extension systems (NARES) started since 1988 the development of a special regional program to address the problems of agricultural production and natural resource management in the Arabian Peninsula region, of the program included series of projects. It aimed at improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers through the development and adoption of sustainable natural resources management technologies focusing on forage production, rangelands rehabilitation; protected agriculture and related capacity building within a water use efficiency approach. The project approach was in line with the green economy concept which requires the achievement of food security with sustainable the natural resources. Moreover small holder farms, which are essential in the transition towards a green economy, were targeted by the project through technology transfer and technical backstopping. The adoption of the developed technologies increased land and water productivity at famer’s fields. In Oman, the Buffel grass (native species introduced by the APRP) has water productivity 2.5 folds higher than the exotic Rhodes grass. In UAE, the adoption of Buffel grass forage resulted into an average of USD 545 increase in the gross income /ha/year and each ton produced of dry matter save 850 m3 compared to Rhodes grass. Also in UAE, tomato water productivity in soilless culture is 7 folds higher than conventional soil culture. In protected agriculture and under soilless culture closed system, the cucumber yield in Oman is 40% higher than the soilless open system. The cucumber yield in soilless closed system with automatic water and nutrient management is 50% higher than the non-automated. In UAE, the adoption of Integrated Production and Protection Management (IPPM) increased the yearly income about USD 817 per greenhouse. Also in Yemen implementing the IPPM techniques were significantly reduced the use of agrochemicals from 28 to two sprays, and resulted in increasing farmer’s income by 12.5% compared to using the conventional control greenhouse.

Key words: Water use efficiency, technology transfer, IPPM, Buffel and Rhodes grass, Soilless culture, backstopping