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Research Project: EXACT Water Workshops

Location: Office of International Research Engagement and Cooperation

Project Number: 0210-22310-004-08-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 16, 2016
End Date: Aug 15, 2017

Under this agreement, ARS will collaborate with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the Department of State – Bureau of Near East Affairs, in conjunction with ARS partner agency, River Company, to implement two training workshops for Palestinian Authority Water Specialists in coordination with the Israeli Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) to achieve the following general objectives: 1- Support a qualitative leap in the local farming community’s ability to apply new technology in their current agricultural practices, taking advantage of experience from neighboring communities and countries, mainly regarding irrigation technologies and adaptation to local conditions (e.g., the Iksal village experience described in the following) 2- Increase output of the agricultural sector which is already considered the main source of income for the Palestinian state, and has a direct effect on developing the socio-economic level for the local communities. 3- Ameliorate water resource limitations and related regional water disputes, which can be secured through applying new innovations for integrated water resources management, which can play a role leading to more political stability for the whole region. 4- Enhance the role that women play as the main workers in the agricultural labor market. Due to the fact that the agricultural practices in Palestinian Territories are family based, the women usually play an important role as main workers in the agricultural activities. Enhancing the agricultural sector to support and improve the socioeconomic level of the community and family incomes in rural communities, through providing additional water resources and new techniques in agriculture, will also emphasize the role of woman in the family as a productive member 5- Establish farmer groups that will receive this data and manage irrigation according to the best practice recommendations. 6- Transfer of knowhow from other communities to Palestinians for agricultural and community development. This will be accomplished by training workshops and experiences and by research associate training at ARO facilities with USDA technical support.

The Office of International Research Programs (OIRP) of ARS, in coordination with FAS and SD will provide program management and administrative approval and oversight to ensure that all workshop objectives are achieved and are consistent with ARS objectives and U.S. foreign policy. OIRP will work with additional relevant partners to engage scientific experts dealing in natural resource conservation (water efficiency). The priority countries/regions for collaboration between USDA/FAS/SD under this agreement include The Palestinian Authority, Israel, and Jordan.