Thursday, 13 July 2006 - 3:30 PM

Utilization of Brackish Saline Water in North Africa.

Gilani Mhimed Abdelgawad, ACSAD, Domma, Damascus, Syria

Utilization of Brackish and Saline water in North Africa

Gilani M.Abdelgawad1, Mohamed. Hachicha2, Jamal. Soiuci3 and Hassen. Elgassier4 1 Arab Center for Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) (league of Arab states) -Syrian Arab 2 Institute of research for rural engineering for forest, water and environment- Tunisia 3 Institute for desert agriculture development ministry of agriculture- Algeria 4 Libyan Agriculture research center Tripoli Libya

The Applied research program for Utilization of Brackish and Saline water in North Africa was implemented during the years of 2001-2005 In Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The achievement of this program is as follows: In Algeria, The water quality used for irrigation ranges in its ECiw between 5.5 and 15 dS/m and mainly it is sulfate type water. The studies carried out in three provinces Biskra, Eloud, and Ouragla. The irrigated crops are spices (Fenugreek, Peppergrass, Coriander, Black Cumin, Green Cumin, Anise and Caraway) Barley, Alfalfa, Sesbania aculeata, Apple, Grape, Fodder Oil Beet and Artichoke etc. These crops are cultivated in the farmer fields and in ITDAS experimental stations. Spices cultivated in twenty farmer fields distributed in the major Agriculture areas in the three mentioned above provinces In conclusion the spices, which gave good yield even irrigated four years in the same plots with ECiw of 9.5 dS/m, are peppergrass, coriander, fenugreek and anise. These crops are recommended to the farmers. Black cumin, green cumin and caraway give good yield up to 5.5 dS/m ECiw. The water requirements of these spices crops are (11500-to12500 m3/ha). The Barley irrigated with 6.5 and 11dS/m water and fertilized with 30 tons/ha of sheep manures, Poultry manures and Farm residuals. This thirty tons /ha are maintained at the cultivation date of barley for each year. Poultry manure gave the highest yield of 40 tons/ha as green fodder compared with 29 and 32 tons /ha, for sheep and farm residuals respectively The Addition of sheep Organic manures played an excellent rule of decreasing the effect of salinity on plant growth as example Effect of sheep manure on Alfalfa yield. Alfalfa variety oasis are cultivated in three farmer fields in Eloud provinces fertilized with 40 tons/ha sheep manures for three years irrigated with water having ECiw of 6.5 dS/m. The average yield is 284 tons/ha by the program practices compared to 200 tons/ha with the farmer practices. The farmer made a profit of 3500 Dollars/ha / year compared with his practices only 2246 dollars /ha /year. The crop Sesbania aculeata is legume crop very tolerant to salinity introduced as soil amendments as well as a source of fodder in the farmer fields. This crop irrigated with water having 12 dS/m. The best date of seeding is early June and the best seeding rate is 60 kg/ha .The average yield is 30.1 tons/ha as green fodder. In Tunisia The program implemented in Mahdia and Kairuan provinces. The crops cultivated are Potato, Pepper and barley supplementary irrigated with saline water. The EC of irrigation water ranges between 6.5 and 9.3 dS/m and as high as 10.3 dS/m. The irrigation systems are flood and drip irrigation. The water requirements of barley is 5000 m3/ha with rainfall contribution 30%. The grain yield achieved was 3.1 tons/ha. The profit made by the farmers according to the project practice is 540 $/ha yearly but with the farmer practices it is 300 $. Pepper crop: Two pepper varieties are cultivated in the farmers' fields these varieties are Baklouti and Kacham a loussif both of them are local varieties. The ECiw of the irrigation water ranges from 6.5 to 10.3 dS/m. The water requirement in Mahdia farmers' fields by drip irrigation is 5290 m3 /ha but with furrow irrigation it is 9000 m3/ha. The water requirement of pepper crop in the farmers' fields of Kairouan provinces by using Furrow is as high as 16000 m3/ha. The pepper yield according to agriculture practices of the project in the farmers' fields in Mahdia is 28.4 tons/ha. However, by the farmer practices, the yield is 17.5 tons/ha. For Kairouan farmers the yield is 7.1 tons/ha according to the farmers' practices and 12.3 tons/ha according to project practices. The profit of pepper cultivation by farmers is ranging between 2110-3700 $/ha. Potato crop: Two varieties of potato crop are cultivated in both in Mahdia and (Kairouan province). The varieties are Spunta and Nicola, supplementary irrigated with water having EC of 5.8 to 10.3dS/m. The total water requirement ranges between 3465- 3974 m3/ha the yield ranges between 13.4 to 29.1 tons/ha for Spunta variety in Mahdia. For Nicola variety, the yield ranges 12.1- 35.1 tons/ha depends on the farmer. A note worth to mention that the rainfall contributes to the water requirement is 40%. In Libya, The irrigation with saline water is mainly used as supplementary irrigation for barley in the farmers' fields and for irrigation alternatively of Alfalfa crop between low saline water and high saline water. The EC of low saline water ranges between 2.5 and 3.5 dS/m and the high saline water ranges (6.5 to 13.6 dS/m). The use of saline water as supplement irrigation disseminated to 24 farmers in Misrata province. The average water requirements for three years for ACSAD barley variety 176 is 2880 to 5393 m3/ha. The amount of saline water added is ranging between 67.8 to 21.5 %, for the low saline water the amount added is ranging from zero to 39% and the contribution of rainfall for the total water requirements ranges between 65 to 21%. The average profit made by each farmer is 1200 $ / year /ha _________________________________________________________________________________ This programme is partially financed by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

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