International Forum on Water Scarcity in Agriculture

  • 24th March 2019
  • by secretary

19 – 22 March 2019. Praia, Cabo Verde. International Forum on Water Scarcity in Agriculture. The objective of the forum was to identify concrete – practical, innovative and collaborative – solutions to address water scarcity in agriculture in a changing climate. With a focus on Cabo Verde, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and West African countries, the forum is expected to illustrate how water scarcity in agriculture can be addressed and turned into an opportunity for sustainable development, food and nutrition security.


As the availability of freshwater decreases due to population growth, urbanization and changing living standards-we see an increase in agricultural, industrial and energy requirements. This struggle for balance is our greatest challenge.

Dry areas tend to become drier; droughts tend to become more frequent and severe; and

coastal areas more affected by, among other things, seawater intrusion due to rising sea level. Agriculture is by far the most affected sector in periods of drought leading to crop losses and reduced production. Such losses hit farmers and the rural population hardest, especially for smallholders who run over 80 percent of the world’s farms on areas smaller than two hectares.” FAO Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo (see picture).

She argued that, according to recent studies, droughts affected more than a billion people worldwide in a ten-year period, underlining that water scarcity and droughts, sea level rises, desertification, and ecosystem loss are strong social stressors that also contribute to forced migration.

47 countries adopted the Praia Commitments
at the 1st #WASAG Intl Forum

Extract of the programme

  • Technical session – Drought preparedness
  • Technical session – Water and nutrition
  • Technical session – Sustainable agriculture water use
  • Technical session – Saline agriculture
  • Technical session – Financing mechanisms for sustainable management of water resources
  • Technical session – Water and migration