Project: Towards a sustainable water use in Mediterranean rice-based agro-ecosystems

Acronym MEDWATERICE (Reference Number: 2018-SECTION2-17)
Project Topic In the Mediterranean basin, rice is cultivated over an area of 1,300,000 hectares. The most important rice-producing countries are Italy and Spain in Europe (72% of the EU production; 345,000 ha), and Egypt and Turkey among the extra-EU countries (almost totality of the production; 789,000 ha). Traditionally, rice is grown under continuous flooding; thus, it requires much more irrigation than non-ponded crops. On the other hand, rice is strategic for food security in some countries, and human consumption in the whole Mediterranean is steadily increasing. The MEDWATERICE consortium includes universities, research centres and private companies operating in the Mediterranean area (IT, ES, PT, EG, TR, IL). It aims at exploring sustainability of innovative irrigation options, in order to reduce rice water consumption and environmental impacts, and to extend rice cultivation outside of traditional paddy areas to meet the escalating demand. Case studies will be conducted in pilot farms of the countries involved in the project. Alternative irrigation methods to be tested will be tailored to local conditions using a participatory action research approach through the establishment of Stake-Holder Panels (SHPs) in each country, which will include regional authorities, water managers, farmers’ associations and consultants, and private companies involved in the rice production chain. For each irrigation approach, innovative technologies and the most appropriate rice varieties and agronomic practices will be adopted to minimize impacts on yield quantity and quality. Data collected at the farm level will be extrapolated to the irrigation district level to support water management decisions and policies. Indicators for quantitative assessment of environmental, economic and social sustainability of the irrigation options will be defined. The participation of SHPs in the project is expected to improve the transfer of project’s results to the agricultural sector and decision makers.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
In progress
Network PRIMA
Call Section 2 Call 2018 - Multi-topic

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Università degli Studi di Milano Coordinator Italy
2 Ente Nazionale Risi Partner Italy
3 Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Partner Italy
4 Agricultural Research Center Partner Egypt
5 Universitat de Girona Partner Spain
6 Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas Partner Spain
7 Tepro Consultores Agrícolas S.L. Partner Spain
8 Netafim Partner Israel
9 Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra Partner Portugal
10 Universidade de Coimbra Partner Portugal
11 Black Sea Agricultural Research Institute Partner Turkey