Successful Launch of AgMIP-MENA Platform: A Promising Start to Enhance Agricultural Modeling for Food Security in the MENA Region
February 16, 2023, the regional AgMIP-MENA Platform was launched by ICARDA and Mohammed IV Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco in cooperation with the global Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP).
The event brought together experts from around the world, especially the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to advance the science and practice of agricultural modeling to enhance resilient crop production in the region. The platform aims to research future climate change impacts on agriculture at different scales, link biophysical and socio-economic models, and provides decision support to farmers and policymakers with science-based strategies.
During the event, a series of interventions were conducted to examine the prospective repercussions of climate change, water scarcity, population growth, and land degradation on the agri-food system in the MENA region. The discussions covered potential measures to alleviate these impacts, especially through better sharing and utilizing data (crop, climate, soil, survey, model outputs, etc.), better calibration and development of the models, and providing customized decision support to the farmers and other stakeholders.
The joint research questions for the platform to address in the future are minimizing agricultural risks, consistency in data recording protocols, and providing intelligent strategic solutions for achieving the SDG goals. These goals can be achieved through better collaboration among universities, research stations, extension systems, and private and public societies through better model development, data sharing, capacity development, and participation in multi-model activities.
Specialists from various organizations, including NASA, ICARDA, the Technical University of Munich, UN ESCWA and UM6P, underscored the role of agricultural modeling in guiding policy decisions and helping farmers to adapt to a rapidly changing climate.
Representatives from various organizations such as ACSAD, AOAD, ARC-Egypt, IAV Morocco, GSP MENA, ICBA, INRA Morocco, KAUST, LARI-Lebanon, Mediterranean Europe, NARC-Jordan, QU, SQU, UN ESCWA expressed their delight in taking part in the AgMIP MENA launch. They conveyed their endorsement and eagerness to become members of the AgMIP MENA scientific community.
“We are happy to be invited by ICARDA to collaborate on this project, which presents a remarkable opportunity to expand our network in the MENA region and collaborate closely to strengthen agricultural resilience and crop productivity.” - Hamza Laaich, INRA Morocco.
The inception of the AgMIP-MENA project is highlighted by the launch event, which allows organizations to collaboratively engage in constructing climate-resilient agricultural frameworks using the modeling (regional data sharing, capacity development, networking, collaboration, and cooperation), which can sustainably improve food production and enhance the quality of life for farmers and rural communities.
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To obtain further information, kindly direct all inquiries to ICARDA’s SWA Research Team Leader Vinay Nangia.