In partnership with the local agricultural extension authorities in Qazvin Province, FAO provides its assistance to equip Iranian farmers in the Qazvin Irrigation Network with the requisite technical knowledge and skills to improve agriculture water productivity.
Covering 80 000 ha of farmlands and hosting nearly 30 000 irrigators, the Qazvin Irrigation Network suffers from several challenges, including but not limited to the agriculture water efficiency and productivity.
As part of the water productivity component of a regional project “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Water Efficiency/Productivity and Water Sustainability in NENA” funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and implemented by FAO, this activity in Qazvin Province is aimed to make agriculture more productive and sustainable. The activity also enables stakeholders and beneficiaries to make evidence-based decisions in the planning and management of the agricultural sectors and natural resources to support the transition to sustainable agricultural production systems.
In this endeavour, FAO uses Farmer Field Schools (FFS) to enhance agricultural extension workers’ and facilitators’ capability to support transferring technical knowledge and skills to Iranian farmers.
To this end, FAO in close partnership with the Qazvin Provincial Office of the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO) provides learning opportunities to the facilitators and farmers, training them on particular topics of concerns, including Training of Facilitators (TOF) on FFS method, Technical Knowledge Training of Facilitators (TK-TOF) on Water Productivity and Water Monitoring, and FFS Process Training for the Farmers.
Benefitting from a participatory approach, FFS also empowers farmers to identify and handle challenges of low water productivity, to understand and monitor their local water resources, and to decide as a group on the optimal cropping pattern.
These activities are directed at improved water productivity, increased farm-household income, and reduced water withdrawal in the Qazvin plain.
Being the lead UN agency in promoting climate-smart agricultural practices across the world, FAO lends its expertise to Member Countries to develop, implement and mainstream policies and programmes to secure sustainable climate-resilient rural development.