Olive irrigation: new project launched

April 15, 2010 at 9:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Olive has been a major crop in the Mediterranean region for at least four thousand years

A new 4-year project has been launched, to promote improved irrigation methods for olive cultivation in Morocco and Syria. This is a partnership between multiple institutions: the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) and the OPEC Fund for International Development as funding agencies; the International Olive Council, the General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research in Syria, the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Morocco, and ICARDA as executing agency for the project. The Instituto de Agricultura Sostenibile in Spain, and the Istituto per i Sistemi Agricoli e Forestali del Mediterraneo in Italy will provide additional technical support. The project was launched at an inception workshop at ICARDA headquarters in April. The objectives are to improve olive yield and quality, reduce production costs, and thus increase farmers’ revenues, by introducing modern irrigation methods that offer much higher water productivity. Researchers will work with small-scale olive producers to test and promote the new technologies. The impacts are expected to be substantial, because of the importance of olive production in both countries. In Morocco, the sector contributes to the livelihoods of two million people. In Syria – one of the world’s largest producers of olive oil – olive trees occupy more than 10% of total cultivated area.

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