“Farming is a profession of hope”Feb 24, 2016
It was once said “Farming is a profession of hope” and such is truly the case in Urmia where a percentage of the local community and more specifically farmers have joined forces and are practicing participatory sustainable agricultural methods – techniques which are saving and rediverting water back to Lake Urmia. Through their efforts the farmers are bringing hope back to Urmia.
Once one of the largest salt-water lakes in the world, Urmia has been shrinking at an alarming rate. Miss-management and over-use of water for agricultural purposes are some of the factors which contributed to this environmental challenge.
Under the “Conservation of the Iranian Wetlands Project”, UNDP in Iran is working closely with the Government of Iran to train farmers to use participatory sustainable agricultural techniques which use less water and fewer chemicals and yet yields higher yields of agricultural products. This project in Lake Urmia is being supported by the Government of Japan for the past two years.
Recently at an event held at Centre for Strategic Studies led by the Advisor to President Rouhani, Dr. Hesamodin Ashna, lessons learned from this initiative – with the intension of possibility expanding this project to other parts of the country – were shared with government officials.
At this workshop, farmers from Urmia were asked to join the session and share their first-hand experiences. Farmers hold the key to the success of this project because without their participation the ultimate goal of saving water in agricultural practices would not be possible.
Speaking at the event, one of the farmers said: “At first I did not think that I can use less water and crop more yields. But now, when I measure the amount of water I use, I can see that it has dropped to half of what I used to use. I am happy to be a part of this project because I am doing my job while conserving the environment.”