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The initiative is aimed at helping member countries adopt modern agricultural methods and technologies to reduce wastage of water.
Agriculture consumes about 70% of world freshwater supplies and scores lowest in water-use efficiency (WUE) among different sectors globally. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, unless drastic measures are taken to reduce waste, over 50% of global grain production will be at risk due to water stress by 2050.
As part of its initiative to enable member countries adopt water-efficient methods of agriculture, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) along with the National Iranian Productivity Organization (NIPO) is conducting a five-day workshop on Innovative Water Resource Management in Tehran, 22–26 July 2017. The workshop, attended by 25 participants and 12 observers from the host country, is being conducted by three APO experts from Japan, Pakistan, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization as well as two local experts.
The rise in global water demand is due to population growth and many-fold increases in domestic and industrial use. The impact of climate change is another factor creating additional requirements for agriculture and reservoir replenishment. The challenges can be effectively dealt with by wasting less, polluting less, reusing more, recycling more, and managing water more effectively. This requires innovative, smart approaches and advanced technologies for water collection, storage, distribution, and on-farm management. The use of IT-based smart irrigation systems are another way to reduce waste.
The APO workshop is designed to share information on smart technologies, practices, and farming systems for efficient, effective use of agricultural water resources. Another aim is promoting farmer-friendly water resource management techniques, enhancing sustainable water productivity, and encouraging smart agriculture applications. It will also help participants formulate strategic action plans to promote such technologies, practices, and systems in their countries.
During the workshop, experts will also share information on cost-effective, smart technologies and innovative models for enhancing agricultural WUE and finding ways to promote the adoption and scaling up of such technologies and models in member countries.
The workshop was inaugurated by Chief Guest and Deputy Minister and Head of the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO) Dr. Eskandar Zand. It was also attended by Engineer Ali Morad Akbari, Deputy Minister of Agriculture-Jihad in Water & Soil. The other speakers at the inaugural session included Deputy Head of ARREO and President of the Institute of Technical & Vocational Higher Education of Agriculture-Jihad Dr. Seyed Jalal Eddin Bassam, NIPO International Affairs Manager Mohammad Mokavven, and APO Program Officer Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain.