Ashgabat, 11 May 2018: International expert on water management and irrigation of the joint United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of agriculture and water resources (Ministry) project “Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Water Management in Turkmenistan”, financed by Global Environment Facility (GEF), Dr. Akmal Karimov delivered a presentation on the project results and its relevance to SDG 13 implementation in Turkmenistan at the National SDG Centre.
“The issues of agriculture are relevant to everyone, as it is a complex field which is related to food and water security of every state. When talking about SDGs and sustainable development, we should not differentiate between the fields of the economy saying that one is more important than another one, as they are all interconnected. The Government of Turkmenistan and UNDP have a good sense of the interconnectedness of the water and energy management, which led to the joint project that ensures water and energy efficiency, and prepares professional cadres for the field of agriculture,” stated Dr. Akmal Karimov.
In his presentation, Dr. Akmal Karimov highlighted the status of the project activities including construction of the irrigation system and installation of various types of low-water irrigation, including drip, rotating sprinkler, center-pivot and linear-move irrigation machines and improved furrow irrigation at the pilot region of 145 ha plot in Geokdepe where UNDP and the Ministry conduct their project. Dr. Karimov then presented the initial research findings that has been conducted on the water needs and agriculture practices, and the decisions made on the selected measures and technology to be tested in the field to improve energy and water efficiency in irrigated agriculture. New water management approaches tested at the site will dramatically reduce water losses, reduce energy consumption for pumps and increase yield per hectare. It will also reduce salinization as with low-water irrigation practices the need for drainage is practically eliminated.
Successful results of the project are expected to be scaled up to the national level, thus allowing saving water and ensuring energy efficiency in agriculture. Participants of the lecture from the national agencies and academia of Turkmenistan and the staff of the SDG Centre noted that the event helps to raise awareness and engage members of the private and public sectors of Turkmenistan into the SDG implementation.