1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to develop technology and methodology for efficient use of water in agricultural systems suited to dry land climates, by applying Irrigation Management Information System (IMIS) techniques.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Under this agreement, and in accordance with the budget agreed to by both Parties to this Agreement, the cooperator shall: 1. Establish IMIS research and demonstration sites that represent a significant local agricultural sector and practices in Jordan. The system will be based on local meteorological data and field measured information inputs. 2. Develop the physical infrastructure and information management tools for rapid dissemination of quality controlled and reliable irrigation scheduling data for the proposed project sites. 3. Cooperating scientists will gather data throughout the cropping season utilizing data from constructed weighing-lysimeter and weather station, and collaboratively apply quality control and processing to develop Crop coefficients (kc) values. 4. Establish scheduling criteria for the unique variety of field, orchard, and vegetable crops grown in the project area, using Evapotranspiration (ET) estimation models and incorporating agronomic considerations. 5.Establish interaction with farmers, farm advisors, and extension personnel via implementation of the system to ensure wide acceptance and sustainability. 6. Promote regional cooperative activities by developing and disseminating the pilot project as a model pending future funding availability in preparation for a project expansion that includes infrastructure.
3. Progress Report
During this reporting period the project focused on collecting and processing meteorological data from the IMIS network and disseminated date to farmers in the Western Galilee, Yezrael Valley and the Triangle agricultural areas in Israel. This data served as the base for irrigation of vegetables, specialty crops such as almonds and olives. El Hawakeer continued to work towards increase irrigation water efficiency on small farms by using the metrological data collected and analyzed from the weather stations distributed in Israel and the region. The IMIS stations provide daily data on temperature, humidity, irradiation and wind speed. During the 2009-2010 growing season, El-Hawakeer conducted maintenance on all the five IMIS metrological stations in Israel and organized a regional IMIS workshop in Nazareth, Israel on December 6, 2009. The project provided training to farmers on how to use the information obtained from the metrological stations in order to improve efficiency of water usage in irrigation of the main crops, cultivated by small farmers, such as cucumbers, strawberry, almonds and olives. El-Hawakeer facilitated and strengthened the technical cooperation in the region between the IMIS project partners and cooperators, by planning and participating in the regional technical cooperation workshops and exchange of know-how and experience to benefit farmers in Israel and the region with assistance and support of the ARS scientific experts. There has been close coordination between the project leaders and the Metrological Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The focus has been on making the MERIMIS website compatible with the one used in this project. Coordination was done with the extension service agents to encourage them to using the information received from the metrological stations system of the project, and disseminate it to the farmers. Four workshops for small farmers were organized with the aid and support of the Ministry of Agriculture extension service agents. The workshops were conducted in Maker-Jdaydeh, and Iksal Villages, and the cities of Baqa Elgarbeyeh and Kalansawa, with participation from 95 farmers. The topics included how to use metrological stations data to increase the efficiency of the water usage for irrigation. Two professional field trips were organized with 45 participatns, owners of small farm. One field trip was directed towards the Arava Arid region south of Israel, where the participants learned about how irrigation systems are integrated with metrological data and information, and how the farmers get the relevant information and use it. The second field trip was composed of a visit to experimental fields, comparing irrigation system based on the information obtained from a metrological station, with another system using soil samples analyzed to determine irrigation frequency and water volume.