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

Duration 01/04/2019 - 31/03/2022
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.
Website visit project website
Network PRIMA
Call Section 2 Call 2018 - Multi-topic

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Milan Coordinator Italy
2 Agricultural Research Center Partner Egypt
3 Netafim Partner Israel
4 National Rice Organization Partner Italy
5 Catholic University of Sacred Heart Partner Italy
6 Coimbra Polytechnic Institute Partner Portugal
7 University of Coimbra Partner Portugal
8 University of Girona Partner Spain
9 State Agency Higher Council for Scientific Research Partner Spain
10 Tepro Consultores Agrícolas S.L. Partner Spain
11 Black Sea Agricultural Research Institute Partner Türkiye