Collaboration Generates Impact: MENAWARA & MEDWAYCAP International events in Jordan Explores Non-Conventional Water Reuse in Mediterranean Agriculture
Amman, Jordan - The utilization of non-conventional water took center stage at the International Roundtable and Interchange experience held in Jordan on May 7th and 8th, 2023. The event, organized by the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), brought together national and international stakeholders from Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, Italy, Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Malta. Participants included public authorities, researchers, farmers, and members of civil society who engaged in discussions ON the MENAWARA project's achievements, strategies for its capitalization, and the management and promotion of non-conventional water use in Jordan's agricultural sector. The aim was to support and shape national policies in this crucial area.
Dr. Nizar Haddad, Director General of NARC, opened the roundtable by emphasizing the institution's commitment to finding effective solutions for the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, particularly those related to water, climate, and the environment. Dr. Haddad expressed NARC's dedication to supporting farmers and the agricultural sector, highlighting the positive impact that modern technology, facilitated by MENAWARA, can have on water efficiency through innovative approaches such as sub-surface irrigation, which reduces evaporation.
Dr. Alberto Carletti, the MENAWARA Project Coordinator from the Desertification Research Centre of the Sassari University, praised the event for providing a valuable platform to gather authorities, experts, and farmers from multiple countries for an open dialogue on challenges, opportunities, and the promotion of sustainability.
During the roundtable, Dr. Naem Mazahrih, the National Coordinator of the MENAWARA Project, presented promising results in terms of irrigation efficiency and productivity achieved in the project's demonstration fields. Dr. Mazahrih also highlighted the MEDWAYCAP project's potential to design concrete solutions for addressing water scarcity challenges using non-conventional water. This objective was further explored during the subsequent Innovation Camp held on May 10th and 11th, which involved the active participation of all MENAWARA partners.
Scientific findings from the living labs in Beit Dajan, Palestine, supported by results from the demo site in Ramtha, were shared by Dr. Giovanna Dragonetti from CIHEAM-Bari. These findings showcased the added value of collaborative efforts and the positive impacts of innovative irrigation methodologies and approaches on agricultural communities and the environment.
The roundtable sparked a lively debate, with public officers and approximately 30 farmers, agronomists, and water irrigation engineers from Tunisia, Palestine, and Jordan, who were directly involved in the project activities, offering their valuable insights. The event was followed by field visits to Ramtha and Deir Allah, where technological solutions employed to enhance wastewater treatment processes and irrigation strategies were showcased.
The participants demonstrated enthusiasm for the exchange, which was evident during the subsequent workshop where Palestinian agricultural practices were shared among peers. The rich and productive discussions underscored the MENAWARA project's success, as farmers were fully engaged and aware of the project's progression, which was conducted in collaboration with and thanks to them. This demonstrated the tremendous potential that shared and participatory solutions offer in addressing complex challenges within a "living lab" environment.
The journey continues in Tunisia from the 12th to the 14th, where the MENAWARA interchange experience will be replicated and enriched. This ongoing collaboration among Mediterranean countries reaffirms the commitment to fostering sustainable practices and ensuring the efficient use of non-conventional water in agriculture, ultimately benefiting both farmers and the environment.