(ROME)

Water usage was on the agenda at this week’s biennial conference of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

At a joint FAO-Arab League event held during the Rome gathering, stakeholders called for Arab nations to develop innovative ways to tackle the major challenges of water scarcity and climate change.

FAO Director-General, Graziano da Silva said: “It is fundamental to promote ways for agriculture, and food production in general, to use less water, and use it more efficiently. Population growth and the impacts of climate change will put more pressure on water availability in the near future. Climate change, in particular, poses very serious risks.”

Graziano said it is imperative that farmers are at the heart of initiatives to combat water scarcity. He added: “Not only to encourage them to adopt more efficient farming technologies, but also to secure access to drinking water for poor rural households. This is vital for food security and improved nutrition.”