2nd International Seminar on Drought and Agriculture

2nd International Seminar on Drought and Agriculture

17 June, 2019.  Rome, Italy. FAO, in collaboration with the Government of the Netherlands, is organizing the 2nd International Seminar on Drought and Agriculture “Counting crops and drops: let’s grow the future together”.

The seminar will present and discuss tools, policies and best practices to support countries and farmers to be better prepared and resilient to drought. It will showcase how water resources assessment and monitoring, through the use of novel technologies, can reduce the vulnerability of rural communities.

The event is aimed at representatives from governments, international organizations, NGOs, academic and research institutes, and the private sector.

Objectives of the seminar:

  • Showcase and share knowledge on novel technologies and best practices to increase farmers resilience to drought.
  • Promote multi-stakeholder partnership and capacity building for integrated management practices for both drought preparedness and addressing land degradation in agriculture.
  • Promote enabling environments to support accessibility of farmers to actionable information for improved resilience and sustainability.
  • Demonstrate WaPOR, FAO’s portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open-access of Remotely sensed derived data.
Extracts of the programme:
  • Opening address, Bekhit Mohamed Bekhit, Minister’s Assistant of Transboundary Water, Studies and Research Improvement, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, the Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Opening address by Moderator, H.E. Hans Hoogeveen, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to FAO

“Water resources assessment: counting the drops, making them count”

  • Introductory remarks by Moderator, Jippe Hoogeveen, Senior Land and Water Officer, Land and Water Division, FAO
  • The present and future of earth observation for agriculture – Benjamin Koetz, Exploitation Engineer, European Space Agency
  • Launch of the Water Productivity Open-access Portal version 2.0 WaPOR – Livia Peiser, Land and Water Officer, Land and Water Division, FAO
  • Plant Village application and WaPOR – David Hughes, Associate Professor, Penn State University

The FAO portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open access of Remotely sensed derived data (WaPOR) monitors and reports on agriculture water productivity over Africa and the Near East.

  • It provides open access to the water productivity database and its thousands of underlying map layers, it allows for direct data queries, time series analyses, area statistics and data download of key variables associated to water and land productivity assessments.
  • The portal’s services are directly accessible through dedicated FAO WaPOR APIs, which will eventually be also available through the FAO API store
  • The portal provides open access to the water productivity database and allows for direct data queries, time series analyses, area statistics and data download of key variables associated to water and land productivity. 
  • The portal provides information on variables such as water productivity, land productivity, above ground biomass production, crop calendars, harvest Index and precipitation, among others.
  • The webportal is powered by Google Earth Engine and is funded witt the the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Outcomes of the Near East and North Africa Land and Water Days 2019

  • Jean-Marc Faurès, Regional Programme Leader, Regional Office for Near East and North Africa, FAO

Improved policies and practices for drought resilience

  • National drought plans and integrated drought management – Daniel Tsegai, UNCCD
  • Saline agriculture: country experience – Arjen de Vos, Director Operations Saline Agriculture, Saline Farming
  • Kenya’s way forward in addressing drought – Paul Kimeu, Manager, Drought Resilience, National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), Kenya
  • Drought policies and practices in Egypt – Ismail Abdelgalil Ismail Hussein, Former Chair of Desert Research Center, Cairo, Egypt

“Strengthening farmers’ resilience to drought: from the sky to the ground”

  • Satellite data for seasonal monitoring at World Food Programme (WFP) – Rogerio Bonifacio, Geospatial Analysis Unit, WFP
  •  Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) – Mario Zappacosta, Senior Economist, Trade and Markets Division, FAO
  • Waterwatch Cooperative – Ad Bastiaansen, Chairman, Waterwatch Cooperative
  • Fostering communities’ knowledge for better drought – forest management in dryland – Fidaa Haddad, Forestry Policy and Resources Division, FAO

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