Salinity is a serious threat to agriculture in large parts of central and southern Iraq – but international partnerships are making progress in understanding and documenting the problem, as a first step to reversing salinity-induced losses. An Iraq-ICARDA-Australia research project on salinity management in Iraq is entering its second year. Project partners met in Amman last month to review findings from 2011 and plan for the coming season. Forty-four experts in water and land management, agronomy, remote sensing, socio-economics and other disciplines discussed the current state of knowledge on salinity processes, extent and impacts, and how best to build on project results.
Research is structured under ten linked themes covering different scales (regional, irrigation system, and farm scales). The results, synthesized into a series of high-level reports, will help encourage development partners to provide long-term support to reducing salinity in Iraqi agriculture. All technical information will be made available as international public goods.
The project is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). It is implemented jointly by five Iraqi ministries (Agriculture, Water Resources, Science and Technology, Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Environment), three international research centers (ICARDA, IWMI, ICBA), the University of Western Australia, and CSIRO-Australia.
International partnership to combat salinity in Iraq. Experts from Iraqi organizations, Australian government agencies and universities, ICARDA and IWMI.