ALUMNI EXPERT SEMINAR: Diversification of Water Sources and Production Systems towards Climate Smart Agriculture



On behalf of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) the Centre for International Capacity Developmentat University of Siegen has organized the

International German Alumni Expert Seminar  “Diversification of Water Sources and Production Systems towards Climate Smart Agriculture” in Sudan from 15th to 26th of July 2018

The Expert Seminar has been conducted by the Universität Siegen in cooperation with cewas - International Centre for Water Management Services, Switzerland, the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at Technische Hochschule Köln, , University of Kordofan - Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Khartoum - Water Research Center, and Institute of Environmental Studies and UNESCO - Regional Center for Capacity Development and Research in Water Harvesting.

This applied research seminar is the first out of a series of two, which are implemented in different locations of the Nile Basin in central Sudan in 2018 and 2019. The consequence of two seminars will allow the analysis of two different types of vulnerable farming systems in Sudan, both located close to each other in the Nile Basin, namely traditional rainfed system and traditional irrigation system in its capacity to become climate smart.
While the overarching themes of the seminars are water and food security related to Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and appropriate CSA technologies and practices in the context of the chosen case studies, the seminars will also tackle related and interlinked topics of effectiveness of institutional policies and organizations, socioeconomic questions, and the regional context of watershed management and transboundary water management in the Nile Basin.

The seminar started at the Water Research Center of the University of Khartoum with the official inauguration in presence of the German Ambassador to Sudan, representatives of FAO Sudan and UN Environment Sudan to get an introduction into actual challenges in Sudan and responding activities related to CSA.  All participants prepared posters to highlight projects regarding CSA in their respective home countries. A poster session at Water Research Center allowed first networking.  
After a preparation day with an introduction to methodological approach of CSA and Rapid Appraisal technologies the group sarted to travel along the White Nile by bus to Kosti with a stop over at Jebel Aulia dam and a meeting with the Dam Implementation Unit to discuss transboundary water management in the Blue and White Nile basin. Destination Kordofan has been reached the following day after visiting the natural lake Er Rahad. The Vice Chancellor of University of Kordofan (also Alumnus and active participant of the seminar)  welcomed the seminar participants officially with an official evening cultural program.
Four days field work covered the case studies
1 - Small-scale land use systems at Faris village
2 - Traditional and modern water harvesting practices at Elain area
3 - Gum Arabic production at community scale at Al Himera village
4 - Abu Habil traditional irrigation scheme, at the moment extended

For each case study CSA practices/solutions were developped with strong focus on applicability by stakeholders in collaboration with Universities/ participants. The aim of the exercise was not only to define recommendations but to come up with practice oriented solutions in a short time (rapid assessment), and to train visualisation and presentation skills. Results for each case study were presented in poster format to stakeholders visited and extended research community at the Agricultural Research Centre in El-Obeid. New methodologies in assessing a situation and developing solutions based on CSA technologies are introduced and trained using a practical example.
Working groups have been set in place to further develop project ideas based on the findings of the seminar, preferably with a regional cooperation component.
In 2019 a follow up seminar will be conducted in Sudan