"Under the Cairo Water Week 2023 and in harmony with the different strategies of Egypt regarding maintaining productivity of saline landscape. IWMI-MENA office under the CGIAR Regional Integrated Initiative “From Fragility to Resilience in Central Asia and West Asia and North Africa (F2R-CWANA)" in collaboration with the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) is convening a workshop to present the current situation of water and soil salinity in Egypt; showcase success stories and lessons learned (good practices/ technologies /techniques ) from across the region and make use of cutting-edge scientific evidence developed to date by IWMI, CGIAR centers and partners around the world to advise Egypt policies on maintaining productivity of saline landscape in and beyond the agricultural sector.
The problem of soil and water salinity has been a long-standing challenge for agricultural development in Egypt, mainly in the Nile Delta, due to seawater intrusion, in addition to the usage of irrigation systems such as drainage water, to compensate for the shortage in irrigation water. Climate change further exacerbates the issue of salinity and increases the vulnerability of landscapes to its impacts.
In general, soil salinization in Egypt is influenced by several factors, including both natural and human-induced processes as follows: Dissolved salts added through irrigation and fertilization water; Inefficient irrigation practices; Seawater intrusion; and Use of saline groundwater for irrigation.
Managing saline landscapes in Egypt involves various strategies and interventions aimed at mitigating the effects of soil salinity and preserving the productivity of agricultural land. Given the prevalence of salinity issues in certain regions, particularly the Nile Delta and Nile Valley, several approaches can be employed. Following are few examples of mitigation measures to combat the effects of soil salinity on crop production: Improved irrigation practices; Leaching; Salt-tolerant crop selection; Soil amendments; Techniques for land preparation; Crop rotation and diversification; Subsurface drainage; and Mulching.
This session aims to bring together experiences from IWMI and AOAD to consolidate learnings and share experiences – particularly around managing water and soil salinity– which are crucial for developing the salinity roadmap for Egypt. In addition, the session will draw on CGIAR’s international as well as the MENA region experience (ICARDA, IFPRI, World Fish)– to understand how, salinity roadmap / will maintain productivity and transform food systems in Egypt.
The project goal shall be achieved through the following sub-objectives:
1. Shed lights on the current situation of salinity (soil and water) in Egypt and its impact on productivity with focus on field level in selected areas.
2. Discuss the socio-economic impact of salinity on farmers livelihoods.
3. Presenting solutions and good practices for managing saline landscapes at field level and on ground success stories.
4. Discussing the governance system of managing saline landscapes in Egypt, and the enabling environment for a successful roadmap for managing saline landscapes in Egypt.
The expected_outcomes of this dialogue will contribute to the development of salinity roadmap (IWMI is currently leading) to advise policymakers on multiple aspects to maintain/enhance saline landscape productivity through better management and integration in Egypt. This includes technology, governance, innovation, financing and socio-economic, policy tools, interventions, and regulation related to water and soil salinity in Egypt."