To acquire the knowledge of new farming methods and grasping proven agricultural practices intended to increase water productivity, knowledge-sharing sessions are conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, in Urmia, in close collaboration with the government of Iran and the support from the government of Japan.
Eying to increase resilience in agriculture sector, the sessions include presenting successful international experiences in agriculture in similar climate conditions of the pilot site. These experiences could be used by farmers, assisting them to comprehend how to improve climate-resilient practices in agriculture.
Benefiting from the shared different experiences of other farmers, local farmers will be equipped with different scenarios for improving the cultivation system, irrigation, and value chain. Based in Balanej Dehestan in Urmia, the initiative provides on the ground and feasible alternatives for the current farming methods in the region.
“Since 2016, FAO has supported the Urmia Lake Restoration Program (ULRP) agency with technical advice and sharing of international best practices in water accounting, drought management, and socio-economic analyses.” Aziz Elbehri, senior economist at FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and the project lead technical officer said.
Mentioning the focus of the project on farmer level technologies that leads to improve water productivity, increase yields, and sustain farmers income, Elbehri underscored that learning from different countries experiences will “enable Iran farmers to adapt these technologies to their local conditions, speed up their mastery, and facilitate acceptance”.
“Agricultural education and extension are the best way leading to empowering stakeholders. Benefiting from the agricultural extension, the farmers will be equipped with modern technologies and scientific methods,” Ms Bita Ahmadian, Coordination Manager of Agricultural Extension Management, said.
She believed that “the farmers who adopt and manage their farms based on the new findings, certainly will have higher performance rather than those who farm in demonstration site”.
“Sharing different experiences by leading farmers to improve other colleagues’ development skills is one of the focuses of the Ministry of Agriculture Jahad. Benefiting from the lessons learned from other farmers, this method becomes much more effective rather than a theoretical alternative,” Ahmadian highlighted.
FAO, as the lead UN agency dedicated to increasing the resilience of agricultural livelihoods and food systems, will continue to work closely with partners to build inclusive, resilient, and sustainable societies. FAO extends its support to member countries to adopt a system-wide approach to unlock the potential of innovation, linking network of actors together with supporting policies and institutions to harness new technologies in responding to the emerging needs and challenges.