As rapidly increasing water scarcity threatens to aggravate the effects of climate change on agriculture in the dry areas of the Middle East and other developing countries, scientists launched this week an ambitious seven-country project, which offers new hope for farmers in the face of acute and growing water shortages.
Gathering in Amman, Jordan, for a global conference on food security and climate change in dry areas, experts reported that improved irrigation techniques in rainfed cropping will allow farmers to more than double their wheat yields using only one-third the water they would use with full irrigation; the new methods have been shown to boost farmers’ yields up to five-fold over those crops which relied on rainfall only. Such innovative strategies could provide a much-needed lift to livelihoods in dry areas in the developing world, home to almost 25 percent of the world’s population.
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