On April 29 – 30, 2015, the U.S. Water Partnership and HasNa co-hosted a training workshop and field visit for 14 Turkish farmers and leaders of water user associations (WUA). The workshop in Washington, D.C. focused on building farmers’ resilience to drought and improving crop productivity through improved irrigation techniques. Drought conditions significantly impact Turkey’s agriculture sector which loss approximately $2.3 billion due to the 2008 drought. Inefficient irrigation practices and broken canals further aggravate scarce water resources. On the second day, farmers visited strawberries fields at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Research Center in Beltsville, MD. The workshop training included the following presentations:
- Conservation of Water Quality, Craig Goodwin, National Water Quality Specialist, USDA – Mr. Goodwin discussed water pollution in rivers and streams. He shared how the Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and land users on preventing or remediating agricultural or other non-point source pollution. His presentation is available here.
- Water in the United States: Cooperative Management, Policy and Research, Rob Sampson, National Water Management Engineer, USDA – Mr. Sampson explained how the USDA advises farmers on surface, sprinkler and micro-irrigation techniques as well as soil moisture monitoring and water saving. His presentation is available here.
- Linking Private-Sector Suppliers with Smallholder Farmers, Kevin Andrezejewski, Global Supply Chain Manager, iDE – Mr. Andrezejewski outlined how iDE links private sector suppliers (input, equipment, financing options and market) with smallholder farmers to develop, distribute and implement drip irrigation technologies. His presentation is available here.
- Micro-Irrigation, Eduardo Mendias, Senior Product Manager, The Toro Company – Mr. Mendias shared the benefits of drip irrigation and discussed the operation and maintenance of the system. His presentation is available here.
- Integrating Geospatial Technology For Management of Water in Large Irrigation Systems, Christopher Neale, Director of Research, Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska – Mr. Neale explained different geospatial technologies and information databases available for improving water management of irrigated agriculture. His presentation is available here.
- Xylem Saajhi™ Stepping Pump: Techniques for deploying smallholder farmer business strategies, Keith Teichmann, Director of Innovative Networks and Marketing, Xylem – Mr. Teichmann shared Xylem’s Essence of Life program to deploy innovative technologies such as the Saajhi pump to smallholder farmers in Malawi.His presentation is available here.
- Sustainable Use of Water in Agriculture with Mechanized Irrigation, Burak Gelegan, Territory Manager, Valmont Middle East – Mr. Gelegan discussed how center pivot irrigation can increase the land values and crop productivity while preserving soil structure and water holding capacity. His presentation is available here.
If you have questions about additional outcomes from the workshop or would like to connect with the farmers, please email Dr. Carole Abourached at email@example.com.