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Sustainable Land, Soil and Water Management

Enhancing Water and Land Productivity
Enhancing Water and Land Productivity

Recognizing that dry areas currently face a bleak future in the face of intensifying climate change, land degradation and diminishing resources, chief among them water, ICARDA carries out sustainable land, soil, and water management  research-for-development on three diversified and sustainable practices for family and large-scale farming:

  •   Diversification of cereal-based irrigated systems; 
  •   Rain-fed and conservation agriculture systems; and
  •   Sustainable agriculture in deserts (irrigated and diversified).

ICARDA's improved water-harvesting and water-conservation techniques can greatly benefit farmers in rain-fed agriculture. Our research includes maximizing in-situ storage of water through conservation interventions, and supplemental irrigation in rain-fed agriculture; rehabilitation and modernizing of irrigation systems; developing water-saving technologies that improve on-farm water use and management for higher water and land productivity; and the safe use of treated wastewater to produce feed, forage and trees.

Additionally, ICARDA works with agro-pastoral communities to protect rangeland health through unique and integrated soil and water conservation technologies, landscape afforestation with indigenous multi-purpose species (herbaceous, shrubs and trees), and better livestock management programs (grazing management). Together, these are essential to ensure the stability and resilience of communities' agro-sylvo-pastoral production systems and halt land degradation. They are designed for potential scale-up to all global arid and semi-arid rangelands.

ICARDA also explores the use of blue, green and grey waters while developing indicators to assess changes in soil quality, and develops new approaches to help restore degraded lands and allow farmers to plant and manage plants at the optimal time, without being at the mercy of unpredictable rainfall. 

To be effective ICARDA delivers all improved water management solutions in packages of technology, trainings and best practices combined with the best agronomic approaches such as cultivating drought-tolerant crop varieties, right fertilization, pest control, soil health management and others. 

Land, Soil and Water Innovations

 ICARDA innovations help countries and communities strengthen their adaptation to climate change and transition towards food and nutritional security.

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Climate Smart Crops

Cross Cutting Themes

Our cross-cutting research supports our three research priorities to provide integrated packages that help farmers to implement our innovations and new approaches and allow them to flourish:

Latest News

Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav or Thyme in Tunisian rangelands
Newly publish research explains how after an exceptional wet season in Tunisia in 2017/18, ICARDA scientists studied various indigenous rangelands plants to discover their human health benefits and their attributes as feed for livestock and wildlife.
Diversified Cropping Systems
ICARDA, alongside its national and international partners and donors, promotes Diversified Cropping Systems (DCS) across Africa, Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  
AI-driven beekeeping application for Uzbek and Ethiopian women
Through support by the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), ICARDA's Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Team help Ethiopian and Uzbek women better manage their hives through an AI-supported beekeeping companion app.

Featured Innovations