FAO launches new global initiative: Coping with water scarcity in agriculture

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DUSHANBE (TCA) — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is launching a new Global initiative named “Coping with water scarcity in agriculture: a global framework for action in a changing climate” during the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP22) in Morocco, which will be held in November, the FAO office in Tajikistan said on August 30.

This was said by Viorel Gutu, FAO Representative in Tajikistan, in his speech during High Level Symposium on SDG6 and targets: Ensuring No One is Left Behind in Access to Water and Sanitation, held in Dushanbe recently.

According to Gutu, this initiative is to help countries, communities and businesses to scale up successful responses to the threats posed by water scarcity to agricultural production and to secure food supply in the face of climate change, while conserving ecosystems and the services they provide and respecting the sustainable use of landscapes. FAO is inviting all the interested organizations around the world to become partners of this important initiative.

Evidence suggests, continued Gutu, that two-thirds of the world population could be living in water-stressed countries by 2025 if current consumption patterns continue.

Crops and livestock already account for 70 percent of all water withdrawals, and up to 95 percent in some developing countries. Water withdrawal for irrigation and livestock will increase as global population growth and economic development drive food demand up.

“FAO is working with countries towards ensuring that water use in agriculture is made more efficient, productive, equitable and environmentally friendly,” mentioned Gutu in his statement. “This involves producing more food while using less water, building resilience of farming communities to cope with floods, droughts and water scarcity, and applying clean water technologies that protect the environment.”

Sergey Kwan

TCA