Climate change impact, coupled with the increasing population, is driving up the demand for food in the Middle East. Food producers in the Middle East are struggling to keep up the crop yields as weather events are hampering their cultivation efforts. Increasing the resistance of agriculture to the changing climate and increased climate variability has become the need of the hour.
One of the responses to these food production challenges is the implementation of climate-smart agriculture in the Middle East. The climatic conditions of the countries in this region countries have proven to be extremely volatile in recent years. This has made it imperative for agribusinesses to bring in sustainable approaches, such as climate-smart agriculture, for better agricultural outcomes.
Key Objectives of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA)
CSA is an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural processes to tackle the realities of accelerating climate change. It focuses on achieving sustainable agricultural development for food security through three key objectives:
- Reducing exposure to short-term climate risks such as droughts, floods, cyclones, etc.
- Improving the capacity to adapt and develop in the face of long-term stresses including erratic weather patterns and shortened seasons.
- Reducing greenhouse emissions where possible, such as managing soil and trees in a way to enhance their potential to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, avoiding deforestation from agriculture, and reducing emission for each kilo of food and fuel produced.
Why Middle East Needs CSA to Increase Food Production?
Middle East countries face numerous challenges to achieving improved food security, nutrition, and inclusive agricultural development. The consequences of extreme weather conditions, changes in temperatures, less rainfall are all destabilising issues, likely worsened by climate change. In the Middle East and the North Africa region, agriculture employs over 35% of the region’s population and contributes 13% to the region’s GDP. However, with rising food security concerns as a result of climate change, countries in this region are compelled to rely on imports for their food requirements.
Such high levels of import dependency result in increased vulnerability to global food price fluctuations, which are also driven by the impact of climate change on food-exporting regions, to some extent. Exceeding temperature-tolerance levels of crops, shorter growing seasons, and reduced soil moisture are climate change impacts that directly influence food pricing and exports. Improved technology and better agriculture management is the only way to improve crop production sustainably in the Middle East region. Hence, climate-smart agriculture in the Middle East could be one of the key mitigation measures.
Eliminating Water Scarcity through Sustainable Water Management
Water scarcity is one of the defining challenges that prompt the need for climate-smart agriculture in the Middle East. Variations in rainfall patterns, crop evapotranspiration, etc are becoming increasingly common due to climate change. An effective solution thus needs to be devised to mitigate the rising concerns of water scarcity in the Middle East region.
As a part of climate-smart agriculture in the Middle East, sustainable water management will play an increasingly important role in maintaining agricultural productivity and improving food security. The installation of high-efficiency, sensor-based irrigation systems along with an efficient water-harvesting system can contribute immensely to the improvement of farmland in the region.
Climate-smart agriculture in the Middle East can facilitate numerous ways to cope with water stress conditions under changing climatic scenarios. Using sensor-based data to make important farm decisions can ensure that adequate water requirements are met while also controlling soil erosion and decreasing carbon loss. With climate-smart agriculture, Middle East-based agribusinesses can thus manage their water resources wisely and produce the desired crop outcomes cost-effectively.
Mitigating Pest Threats With Weather Stations
Pests and crop diseases are amongst the most common and frustrating challenges for food producers, especially in arid regions like the Middle East. Employing appropriate pest management measures is critical to ward off the risks of dangerous pests and crop diseases. But to do that, it is first important for agricultural enterprises to ensure precision and accuracy in their farming practices through a climate-resilient agriculture approach.
Climate-smart agriculture in the Middle East can enable producers to ensure optimal use of resources, fertilisers, and pesticides by consistently tracking the farm weather conditions. This can be extremely beneficial in reducing pests without harming the soil quality. Such a precision agriculture approach can enhance your farm’s resistance to fluctuating temperatures and climate conditions.
With precision farming practices, bringing down the number of pests becomes extremely useful as it takes into account the real-time weather conditions. Climate predictions can also help producers to prepare in advance for erratic weather shifts. Thus, climate-smart agriculture in the Middle East, with the help of a weather station, can help agro-enterprises and agribusinesses to manage pest risks efficiently.
Developing a high level of climate resilience and food security through sustainable approaches has become indispensable for food production in the Middle East. FarmERP has been helping agribusinesses and enterprises in the region to tackle critical climate change concerns effectively. Contact us to know more about how our climate-smart agriculture support in the Middle East can help you manage your farms or plantations productively.