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Supplemental Irrigation: A Promising Climate-resilience Practice for Sustainable Dryland Agriculture

Abstract

About 41 % of the Earth’s land area is classified as dryland; wherein the farming system is characterized by low annual rainfall with much of it falling in the winter and spring. Since water is the most limiting factor for agricultural production in these areas, the primary challenge is the most effective means of storing natural precipitation in the soil. Uneven distribution of rainfall causes drought spells, which causes substantial losses in crop yield. Supplemental irrigation—the addition of limited amounts of water to essentially rainfed crops—can improve and stabilize yields when rainfall fails to provide sufficient moisture for normal plant growth. In this chapter, we present seven case studies from six countries, conducted by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas and its partners, on the implementation of supplemental irrigation practices for different commodities (cereals, olives, forage crops) to sustainably increase and stabilize yields, and on-farm crop water productivity. Biophysical and socioeconomic bottlenecks faced in implementing this practice are also discussed.

Keywords

  • Deficit irrigation
  • Optimization
  • West Asia and North Africa
  • Water harvesting
  • Water productivity

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Correspondence to Vinay Nangia .

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Nangia, V., Oweis, T. (2016). Supplemental Irrigation: A Promising Climate-resilience Practice for Sustainable Dryland Agriculture. In: Farooq, M., Siddique, K. (eds) Innovations in Dryland Agriculture. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47928-6_20

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