This Thursday (October 13) we will present some of our work during the FAOScience and Innovation Forum 2022, together with several other stakeholders from the Netherlands and Bangladesh. The side event, "Salinity, a complex global challenge with a need for an integrated approach" with cover several aspects of saline agriculture.
Earlier this year we were in Morocco for a Saline Farming Assessment Mission, funded by Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). We visited different locations to understand the local conditions and discuss the challenges and the needs of the stakeholders. Based on the results we are now preparing the approach for implementing scalable solutions in Morocco, regarding the crop cultivation under saline conditions and integrated water management.
To create opportunities for salt-affected farmland, the first step is to understand the salinity challenges of the location. The Salt Doctors work all over the world on salinity assessments and the mapping of opportunities to increase the crop yield under saline conditions. Please have a look at this video that we made about this part of our work, which also includes some guidelines on soil sampling and analysis!
We were in Morocco for salinity assessments, stakeholder meetings and mapping of opportunities for next steps, together with Victor Langenberg of Acacia Water. We travelled to the oasis ecosystems in the east as well as the agricultural areas around Marrakech and Agadir. In all places salinity and water scarcity is a major concern, especially with the current drought.
We see several options for setting up demo's of potential solutions!
The harvest may be the best part of any training! We always combine field trials with a training so we can focus on the practical skills that are needed to go from a succesful pilot to scalable solutions. In the south of Iraq, almost all farmers are facing salinity issues.
For this training we introduced 2 potato varieties and worked with organic mulching as one of the treatments. Although the farmers West of Basra are forced to irrigate with a salinity level of 6 dS/m we were still able to obtain a calculated yield of 60 tons per hectare!
Next step is to validate the market opportunities that were identified before and to validate the yields on a larger scale.
Last week we were in Vietnam to provide a masterclass program on saline agriculture. Always a pleasure to work with such a motivated group and great interactions with the experts from Vietnam as well as from the Netherlands! Besides the knowledge sharing, we are also working on setting up demo's in the field, validating different crops varieties and showcasing low-cost hydroponic systems that may be the solution for crop cultivation during the dry season.
The program is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a great development that such an organization also sees the need and opportunities for crop cultivation under saline conditions! Also great work by NWP (Netherlands Water Partnership) for executing the program, in close collaboration with the Vietnamese partners such as Can Tho University, Nông Lâm University, SIWRR, Vietnam Farmers' Union, Digital Agricultural Association. For this first training session we teamed up with Royal Eijkelkamp and in close collaboration with Peter Prins, Ingrid Korving and Cor Verbruggen.
Looking forward to seeining the progress and the next training session!
02-09-2022 (only in Dutch)
De droogte zal niemand ontgaan zijn, niet alleen in Nederland maar in heel Europa. Deze maand worden de eerste oogsten van vele akkers gehaald en zal duidelijk worden hoeveel de gewassen hebben geleden onder de droogte, maar ook onder de verzilting. Een lastig onderscheid, want droogte en verzilting leiden op het eerste gezicht vaak tot eenzelfde soort gewasschade.
In dit artikel gaan Arjen de Vos en Bas Bruning van The Salt Doctors samen met Tine te Winkel en Jouke Velstra van Acacia Water hier dieper op in.
It was our pleasure to show the Cuban delegation the different ways we can use to prevent, mitigate ánd adapt to increasing salinization. On the island of Texel in the Netherlands there are examples of smart water management like rainwater harvesting of Acacia Water, but also salt tolerant potato and halophytes like Groentehelden Texel are cultivating are part of an integrated solution. Many of these solutions are also relevant for Cuba and many other countries!
As part of our activities of the DeSalt project in Egypt, we have performed an economic analysis of the yield of different potato varieties, cultivated under saline conditions. The DeSalt project focusses on optimizing the cultivation and water management under degraded and saline conditions and is supported by Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and NL-Masr Agri-food Network. For this project, several Dutch and Egyptian organizations work together to establish new business opportunities and market opportunities for Egyptian farmers, regarding climate smart agriculture. The mentioned The mentioned research has been published in the FAO proceeding of the Global Symposium on Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS). Also good to mention that although there is already a clear market opportunity, this is based on the actual potato prices of that year which were extraordinarily low. When using more common potato market prices in Egypt, the profit increased to 88% instead of the reported 14%.
"The damage is likely to be so severe that salinization will become a major cause of environmental refugees, as people flee land that will no longer sustain them."
Creating opportunities for salt-affected farmland is the mission of The Salt Doctors and this article shows once again why this is so important!
Read this article at Yale Environment 360