Salinity management in Iraq

November 15, 2011 at 7:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Launching meeting of a new project on salinity management in Iraq

When an entire quarter of Iraq’s productive farmlands is rendered uncultivable due to soil salinity, alarm bells are set off. Salinity is exacerbating rapidly and food security is   no longer secure.

To combat this threatening phenomenon, ICARDA launched a new research project- funded by the Italian government – to help find solutions for salinity management.

The 18-month pilot project aims to catalyze large-scale efforts to combat soil salinity. It will target the Al Nassiriah area situated in the lower reaches of the Euphrates, where salinity levels have increased four-fold in the past 30 years. The project will collect baseline data on salinity in the area, set up salinity monitoring systems, and establish on-farm sites to test and promote remedial measures. The project partners include Iraqi government agencies and universities, ICARDA, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and other international organizations.

The project was launched in an inception workshop held at ICARDA headquarters on 22-23 October. The workshop started with an opening statement by Dr Mahmoud Solh- ICARDA Director General; Dr Kamel Shideed Assistant Director General, International Cooperation and Communication, ICARDA;  Dr Maarten van Ginkel;  Mr Massimo Belleli from the Italian government; Dr Kasim Ahmed, representative of Iraq, Dr Saliem Manzoor Qadir, Dr Theib Oweis, and many scientists from different disciplines, working with extension experts, policy makers and administrators to develop workplans and implementation strategies.

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