CGIAR EiA Stakeholder Workshop in Cairo: Fostering collaboration for agricultural resilience
ICARDA and the CGIAR Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) initiative convened a gathering of stakeholders on October 3, 2023 in Cairo to address pressing challenges facing smallholder farmers in the Global South—particularly those related to climate change and market volatility. The event centered on prioritizing national adaptation measures in irrigated agriculture, with a particular focus on Egypt’s wheat-based production systems in old lands.
Egyptian agriculture demonstrates the impact of climate stress on dryland food production. The country is experiencing increased heat stress and crop water consumption, rising groundwater and soil salinity, extended extreme events, significant changes in crop life cycles, and shifting planting seasons that significantly affect the crucial agricultural sector. This sector supports 65% of Egypt’s population and contributes 13.5% of its GDP. However, it is highly susceptible to climate impacts, particularly water scarcity, as agriculture already consumes 80% of the country’s freshwater resources. Further, only 2.8% of Egypt’s land is arable, limiting any agri-expansion for higher food production. Adaptation strategies—particularly for smallholder farmers—must be integrated into comprehensive agendas to address food insecurity, land fragmentation, soil degradation, and unsustainable practices amid economic pressures, ensuring resilience and long-term peace.