Partnerships in Palestine

March 15, 2010 at 10:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scientists and senior management attended the 3rd Biennial Palestine-ICARDA Coordination Meeting, Tel Hadya, 9-12 March

Research and capacity development partnerships between Palestine and ICARDA are being significantly expanded, following a decision by the government of the Netherlands to fund ICARDA’s work in dry areas worldwide, and Palestine and Afghanistan in particular. The initial funding commitment is for a period of three years. We welcome the return of the Netherlands as a crucial partner in ICARDA’s research-for-development efforts.

The proposed new program was discussed at the 3rd Biennial Palestine-ICARDA Coordination Meeting held at ICARDA headquarters, 9-12 March. The six-member Palestinian delegation was led by Dr Ziad Fida, Director General of the National Agricultural Research Center, and included crop production, water management and plant protection specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture and NARC. Together with ICARDA scientists, they developed a detailed action plan for 2010, and outlined technical workplans for a proposed three-year program, which will be funded by the Netherlands government and the Arab Fund for Economic  and Social Development (AFESD).

The program aims to help improve food production and food security in Palestine, and encourage more sustainable use of water resources. Program components include:

  • Increasing the productivity and sustainability of rainfed food crops, and strengthening seed production systems in the West Bank
  • Improving yields and quality of greenhouse crops in Gaza
  • Introducing proven technologies for safe and productive use of treated wastewater and greywater in agriculture in the West Bank and Gaza
  • Training programs to build research capacity in the West Bank and Gaza.

“This will build on previous work by ICARDA in dry areas, in this region and elsewhere,” Dr Fida said. “We are committed to ensuring that the program succeeds.” Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General, stressed the Center’s commitment. “We have a well designed program, with proven technologies and strong partners on the ground. I am confident that, together, we will make a significant difference to the livelihoods of poor rural households in Palestine”.

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