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Egyptian Experimental Farm Reveals Possible Market for ‘Sewage Farming’ Agricultural Products

Photo Credit Richard Allaway ccPhoto Credit: Richard Allaway ccCrops grown on the Egyptian desert using treated wastewater are safe for human consumption and their production is economically viable, concluded engineers working on an experimental farm in Gerga, in the Sohag Governorate of Egypt.

Their final report, ‘The Re-use of Treated Sewage Waste Water in Agriculture’ contains recommendations for a successful country-wide establishment of wastewater irrigated farms, in support of Egypt’s bit to tackle water scarcity and meet the growing demand for agricultural products. Since its launch in 2013, the pilot project has identified crops and soils suitable for wastewater irrigation and analyzed the environmental, social and economic impacts of this method.

A new irrigation technology is helping Ethiopian farmers assess crop water requirements

Guadenew Zerihun consultant explaining the operation of device in KogaGuadenew Zerihun, consultant explaining the operation of device in KogaPlants need water. All farmers understand this universal truth. But at what point does watering start to hinder a plant’s growth? The issue is important because it doesn’t just affect the crop in the field; long-term overwatering can also do serious damage to soil fertility.

In water-scarce areas, managing water more wisely could also bring huge benefits: by keeping irrigation to an optimum level, water supplies can be made to last longer during dry periods and costs for labor and pumping are kept at a minimum.

Mitigating Economic Water Scarcity to Boost Agricultural Production in Africa Through Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater HarvestingNew schemes offer promise to water-scarce Rwanda and Zanzibar
By Maimbo Malesu and Alex Oduor

The bias in planning, based on blue- at the expense of green water, has often depicted Africa as a physically water scarce continent – with projections for 2025 placing a gloomy picture for most countries. On the contrary, scrutiny of the continents climatological base maps, reveals that Africa actually has more water resources per capita than Europe. The problem is therefore lack of capital investments to adequately access, conserve and utilize rainwater – implying economic water scarcity. Rainwater harvesting (RWH) can contribute to the attainment of wider aspirations, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as they relate to fighting poverty and hunger, delivering environmental sustainability and gender equality.

The National Irrigation Board NIBN I B - Contributing to Sustainable Rural Development

1. History of the NIB
The National Irrigation Board (NIB) is a semiautonomous government agency established in 1966 through an Act of Parliament as a means of providing for the development, control and improvement of existing and new irrigation schemes in the country. The Board adopted the following farmer support model in all irrigation schemes:

• Provision of specialized agricultural advisory and extension services within the schemes
• Provision of pest and disease control surveillance and rapid-response services
• Operational research services aimed at solving emerging problems
• Provision of agricultural inputs including land preparation services
• Provision of credit to farmers for agricultural production
• Marketing research and advisory services including organizing for contract farming with the private sector
• Land administration
• Operation and maintenance of the irrigation and drainage infrastructure in schemes

This system operated well until the 1990’s when marketing of agricultural produce was liberalized by the Government. This had a profound negative impact on the model because some farmers found an opportunity for avoiding repayment of the credit advanced to them, necessitating the restructuring of the Board.

 

                           


            

Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene July - August 2017 Vol.12 No.4