Field day on Grazing Management
under Water Harvesting Systems
The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) organized a grazing management field day mainly through two CGIAR Research Programs (CRP 1.1 Dry land system and CRP 7 Climate Change), as part of several water harvesting activities conducted by ICARDA in collaboration with the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE) on May 27, 2014. This Joint activity between two ICARDA's research programs (Integrated Water and Land management Program "IWLMP" and Diversification and Sustainable Intensification of Production Systems "DISPS"), representing inter-collaboration to foster an integrated research between water and soil conservation in one hand and vegetation and grazing management in the other, was intended to demonstrates the best grazing management practices that would ensure sustainability of pastoral resources in Jordan's Water and Livelihood Initiative (WLI) Benchmark site, "Al-Majidyya" area, located 45 kilometers south east of Amman, which represents the rangeland (Badia) ecosystem in WANA region.
Participants from ICARDA, NCARE, University of Jordan, and Local communities during their tour at the WLI benchmark site in Majidyya.
The joint collaboration between ICARDA and NCARE has spawned in implementing many activities aimed at enhancing pastoral resources in several areas in Jordan including Al- Majidyya Area, where water harvesting techniques were utilized to cultivate pastoral shrubs and barley. Studies have shown that pastures productivity can be increased through adopting water harvesting techniques and planting drought-tolerant pastoral shrubs. It is important to develop these pastoral resources to mitigate the cost of fodder in the area which in turns contributes to its sustainability.
Silt traps (Geo-textile) to measure soil erosion from small sub-watersheds.
Drought-tolerant Salsola plant used as a supplementary fodder for animals in Badia.
It's worth mentioning that grazing management is the art of knowing when and where to graze, taking into account the nutritional requirements (in-take) of animals and phases of shrubs progression. Grazing management relies on two main pillars: pastoral load and the grazing system. Those two pillars can be identified through the collection of data and information on the productivity of pastoral resources, its seasonality, and level of exploitation of appropriate pasture to maintain the sustainability of shrubs' productivity.
Scientists from ICARDA and University of Jordan explaining to local community the advantages of adopting integrated agro-pastoral practices within one community.
During the field day representatives from the University of Jordan, NCARE and ICARDA accompanied local farmers and pastoralists from around the Al- Majidyya area into a tour around the benchmark site to demonstrate advantages of using proven technologies versus continuing with their traditional methods of grazing and cultivation. A discussion was then held at one of the farmers' house, where a representative from the University of Jordan explained to local community best grazing practices and yearly fodder savings. Farmers and pastoralists have also engaged with ICARDA and NCARE team in an interactive dialogue on challenges facing the community and ways to overcome.
At the end of the visit, it was decided that ICARDA will consider producing educational materials, including flyers, posters, brochures, and even short documentary that can be distributed to the community members including schools and household to raise awareness about the importance of adopting new technology to sustain their pasture.