Netherlands donates $7 million for water in Near East and Africa
The money is for support the use of remote sensing technology in helping water-scarce countries in the Near East and Africa monitor and improve the way they use water for crop production.
The additional donation brings the total budget up to $10 million for the Dutch-funded project that uses satellite data to find land areas where water use is not translating into optimal agricultural production, identify the source of the problem and recommend different planting and irrigation techniques.
The data tools created under the project, which will be freely available to governments and farmers alike, also aim to help policymakers in taking evidence-based policy decisions.
Some 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawn worldwide is used for agriculture – a figure that rises to as much as 95 percent in certain developing countries, posing major challenges to the sustainability of food production.
Growing scarcity of and competition for water also threaten to derail poverty alleviation efforts, especially in semi-arid rural areas where access to for this precious resource to grow food and rear livestock is essential for stable livelihoods. ■