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SADC Land and Water Management Applied Research and Training Programme: Symposium 2007
2nd Scientific symposium

Tentative Venue: Kasane, Botswana

Theme: "Opportunities to increasing water use and water use efficiency in agriculture in semi-arid and arid areas of the SADC region"
14 February 2007 - 17 February 2007
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Water Management Applied Research Programme


Background and Introduction

The Land and Water Management Applied Research Programme is one of several regional agricultural research programmes which operate under the auspices of the Agricultural Research and Training Unit of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Directorate of the SADC Secretariat. The Agricultural Research and Training Unit is responsible for coordination of agricultural research and training programmes in the SADC region. Land and water management issues were identified by SADC Member States as being of major regional significance for several reasons. Food security is regarded a regional priority and is intimately tied up with water availability for agricultural production. With increasing population pressure and the need for intensification of production to generate food surplus, sustainability of soil and water resources has become a major concern. Finally, land and water management issues, except within the narrow confines of soil conservation have suffered considerable neglect, and soil conservation services in the region have been established outside of the National Agricultural Research Institutions. Research facilities are limited and the ability of trained research and extension staff is generally inadequate. Hence, SADC Member States are interested in building research and training capacity through this Programme.

The primary beneficiaries of the programme are smallholder farmers in the SADC region who will benefit from dissemination of improved land and water management technologies and practices in order to achieve sustainable agricultural production. Through encouragement of close liaison between different types of institutions and integration of research, extension services and farmer requirements, the programme will bring together government agencies, universities, farmersí groups, NGOs and the private sector. Involvement of this variety of institutional actors will increase the profile of land and water management issues in their activities and cross-sectoral and cross-country learning.

Objective of the Programme

The overall objective of the Programme is to increase the availability of improved and appropriate land and water management technologies to research and development institutions in the SADC region for subsequent dissemination to farmers, particularly small-holder farmers. The mounting of a regional scientific symposium is one of the activities envisaged to ensure more participation by relevant personnel in the SADC region in the land and water management research and development information exchange network.

Abstract for Scientific Symposium

The SADC region has seen renewed attempts to revive the agricultural sector at a macro policy level through pronouncements to increase budgetary commitments by Member States to 10% of annual budgets. It is envisaged that much of this revival will occur through increased trade, market integration, production of food crops, livestock and other rangeland products by the regionís peoples. It is also generally acknowledged that much of this revival will take place in part through increased research and development efforts. Increasing agricultural production is linked to increasing access to water and increasing water use efficiency by the regionís smallscale farmers, more so in semi-arid and arid areas where the majority of the regionís small scale farmers reside.

Over the last few decades, at a broader level there have been extensive revisions to policy and institutional frameworks intended to address how water resources can be developed, allocated and managed as well as to increase water use efficiency especially in relation to agriculture. Managing both supply and demand are capital intensive in arid areas, a resource which smallholder farmers lack hence emphasis is often put on low cost works/technologies including in situ water harvesting practices and use of surface run-off. The critical question to be posed in such circumstances therefore is what are the opportunities to increasing water use and water use efficiency? This second Scientific Symposium will bring together R&D practitioners from 10 SADC Member States on the continental mass to deliberate on the theme of the symposium and how the most recent advances in land and water management R&D can be made relevant to policy and decision makers as well as to the regionís small-scale farmers.

Contributions of symposium papers

The SADC Secretariat invites contributions of symposium papers which should be guided by the five sub-themes which were identified by the Regional Steering Committee:

  • Sub-Theme 1: Policy and institutional aspects affecting agricultural water use
  • Sub-Theme 2: Legislation and regulations guiding common water resources use and management
  • Sub-Theme 3: Utilisation of available technologies to ensure environmental sustainability especially in rangelands
  • Sub-Theme 4: Land management and crop selection
  • Sub-Theme 5: Socio-cultural and marketing issues in increased water use
Download file Download complete announcement and call for papers (43Kb < 1min)

Case study material should be brought to bear in the papers in order to clarify the complexities in dealing with these issues.

Note that the deadline for submissions is 30 November 2006.


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