Unlocking the potential of protected agriculture in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council - Saving water and improving nutrition

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Output type: Book

UM6P affiliated Publication?: No

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Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Place: Rome, Italy

Publication year: 2021

Number of pages: 216

ISBN: 978-92-5-134191-9

URL: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/fr/c/CB4070EN/

Languages: English (EN-GB)

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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic union of Arab states, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Unites Arab Emirates. The GCC was formed in 1981 to strengthen the members’ economic, social and political ties by harmonizing regulations in various fields including economy, finance, trade and customs. The region extends over a territory of 2 673 108 km2 and is home to about 50 million people.

The common denominators of the GCC countries are limited natural fertile land, scarce water resources and harsh climate. Depending on the country, the agriculture sector may use as much as 75 percent of the national available water resources. This has enormous environmental costs and significantly affects the sustainability of overall development in the Arabian Peninsula.

According to Al-Rashed and Sherif (2000), the lack of renewable water resources is one of the critical constraints to sustainable development in the GCC countries. Rainfall in the Arabian Peninsula is scarce and infrequent. Over-exploitation of fossil groundwater resources, mostly to meet irrigation demands and create greenery lands, has already affected the productivity of aquifers, both quantitatively and qualitatively, despite the fact that much of the freshwater demand in the GCC countries is already covered using desalinated water. Reducing water consumption and increasing water efficiency are essential to enhancing agriculture and moving towards increased self-sufficiency with the production of high-quality, safe and diversified foods in the GCC countries. Exploiting the full potential of protected agriculture should save significant amounts of water, which can be used not only for agriculture but for other needs as well.


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Last updated on 2021-23-11 at 23:16