The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD) participated in the Near East and North Africa Land and Water Days conference organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) from March 31 to April 4 2019 to review the progress in tackling water scarcity in the region and promoting the exchange of knowledge and experience between countries and partners and identify future trends and actions.
In the context of the conference, the League of Arab States (LAS) in cooperation with AOAD, FAO and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) organized the first joint meeting for the Arab Ministers of Water and Agriculture at (LAS) headquarters in Cairo on the 4th of April 2019 with the participation of development partners.
The conference aimed to enhance the awareness of governments in the region to challenge water scarcity, as the countries of the region have developed their water resources more generally than any other region and supported local grain production through various means, including government subsidies.
It is worth mentioning here that water usage in agriculture accounted for more than 80 percent of the available freshwater resources, leading to the depletion and degradation of groundwater resources. Looking ahead, agriculture will face strong competition from the municipal services sector and the industrial sector in the usage of the already scarce freshwater resources.