Water scarcity requires agriculture to be "more productive" says FAO

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Conservation and management of water resources is crucial to food security. FAO

Agriculture needs to be more productive to make up for a scarcity of water in the Near East and North Africa, according to the UN's food agency, FAO.

Agricultural productivity in the region is expected to fall in the next 25 years as the availability of water drops by 50 per cent.

On Monday, ministers and experts from across the Near East and North Africa are gathering in Rome to discuss how to face the increasing scarcity of water.

Pasquale Steduto, the FAO's representative in Egypt said farmers need to adapt.

"There is probably enough water for potability, for drinking, but for agriculture, for producing food, there is not enough. There was never enough in the past, there will be a lot less in the future. So one of the major challenges is that agriculture needs to be more performing, it has to be more productive."

The FAO has described the lack of water as the "most urgent food security" issue facing the region.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

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