The West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region is considered one of the most water-scarce regions in the world, with agriculture consuming over 75% of freshwater resources. Climate change projections show an increase in temperature by 1-2oC, a decrease in precipitation of more than 20%, and an increased incidence of prolonged droughts. Furthermore, many of the groundwater-based agroecosystems and more than 25% of river-based irrigated agricultural lands in this region are affected by salinity and waterlogging. These significant changes are a constraint to agricultural productivity and are impacting livelihoods and food security in the region and, therefore, demand the re-evaluation of conventional agriculture. One sustainable solution, proposed by ICBA to be implemented in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, is the introduction of high-value, resilient crops such as Salicornia bigelovii, halophytic forages and quinoa that can tolerate extreme weather and utilize the existing marginal land and water resources and increase agricultural productivity and food security in these communities.
The Red Sea Governorate; the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of Egypt; Desert Research Center, Egypt.
Red Sea Governorate and New Valley, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates