Launch of the SCO-IRRISAT-Morocco program | IRD website

The aim of this program is to set up a system to help optimize irrigation water using satellite data. It is based on two complementary approaches to estimating the water consumption and needs of plants which will be combined in order to provide results at the scales of the agricultural plot, the irrigated sector and the watershed.

In a context of generalized water stress amplified by climate change, the aim is to provide an irrigation management tool that is as close as possible to the real needs of the plant and can reduce water consumption, without penalizing production. In concrete terms, it will involve bringing together two research projects: IRRISAT Moroccoinitiated by the CRTS in 2015 on the irrigated perimeter of Tadla, and SAT’IRRinitiated by the IRD-UMR CESBIO in collaboration with theCadi Ayad University of Marrakech, on the Haouz irrigated perimeter. These 2 projects have already provided local irrigation managers and farmers with a decision support system for water saving and productivity based on Earth observation techniques.

The ceremony led by the Director of the CRTS, Mr. Driss EL HADANI, in the presence of the representative in Morocco of the IRD, Mr. Renaud FICHEZ first of all allowed Mr. Fr├ęderic BRETAR of the Center National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES, France) to present the SCO and to Mr. Younes LAABDI, representative of the Ministry of Equipment and Water, to state the interest of the Ministry. The point of view of the managers was then presented by Mr. Mehdi OUADGHIRI for the Sebou Hydraulic Basin Agency and Mr Mohamed BAHOUSS for theRegional Office for Agricultural Development of Gharb, before a presentation by Messrs. Michel LE PAGE and Zoubair RAFI (IRD) of the SAT’IRR platform and by Mr. Mohammed Faouzi SMIEJ (CRTS) of the IRRISAT platform. A discussion and summary session moderated by Amal LAYACHI and Mohamed MERDAS allowed an exchange with the 21 participants present and the 38 participants online with, in particular, the interventions of Mrs Mounia BENRHANEM of theTensift Hydraulic Basin Agency and Mr. Mohamed SAAF from the Regional Office for Agricultural Development of Tadla.

The ceremony ended with the signing of a specific agreement between the CRTS and the IRD on scientific collaboration within the framework of this SCO-IRRISAT-Morocco program.

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