Together with the ITT of TH Köln and the Universities of Kordofan and Khartoum, two seminars on water and food security issues related to Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) were conducted.
The successive seminars enabled the analysis of the management of agricultural systems in Sudan that are vulnerable to drought. Various irrigation systems are used here, both traditional and modern. All study areas are located close to each other in the catchment area of the Nile and should become more climate-friendly in their use.
While the overarching themes of the seminars were water and food security in the context of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and appropriate CSA technologies and practices in the context of the selected case studies, related and interrelated issues of effectiveness were also addressed, institutional policies and actions of treating organizations, and socioeconomic issues in the regional context of watershed management were discussed.
The first seminar was held in July 2018 in Kordofan Province, Sudan. The second seminar in July 2019 had to be moved to Uganda due to political unrest.
The official opening of the first seminar took place in the presence of the German Ambassador to Sudan, representatives of FAO Sudan and UN Environment Sudan at the Water Research Center of the University of Khartoum.
To allow for initial networking, all participants prepared posters showing their home countries' projects related to CSA.
After an introduction to the methodological approach of CSA and Rapid Appraisal technologies, the group set off by bus along the White Nile to Kosti. A stop at Jebel Aulia Dam and a meeting with the Dam Implementation Unit provided an opportunity to discuss transboundary water management in the Blue-White Nile Basin. In Kordofan, the Vice Chancellor of Kordofan University (also an alumnus and active participant in the seminar) welcomed the seminar participants with an official evening cultural program.
The four-day fieldwork included the following case studies:
- Small-scale land use systems at Faris village
- Traditional and modern water harvesting practices at Elain area
- Gum Arabic production at community scale at Al Himera village
- Abu Habil traditional irrigation scheme, at the moment extended
For each case study, CSA practices / solutions were developed with a strong focus on applicability by stakeholders in collaboration with universities / participants. The objective of the exercise was not only to define recommendations, but to find practical solutions in a short time and to train visualization skills. The results for each case study were presented to the research community in poster format at the Agricultural Research Center in El-Obeid.
Practical examples were used to introduce new methods for assessing situations and developing solutions based on CSA technologies. Based on the seminar results, working groups were established to further develop project ideas, preferably with regional cooperation components.
The results and developed methods of the first seminar then flowed into the second seminar in 2019 in Lira, Uganda. Thus, a cross-border comparison could be made. Due to the political unrest in Sudan in spring 2019, the seminar was held at Makerere University at short notice.
In conclusion, it was shown that regardless of the country, the participation of the rural population in regional projects is an essential factor for the success of the projects. The CSA approach conveys the connection of climate change with the agricultural practices of the regions and can be understood by less educated people.