Naamdr. KNM Mahdi

OrganisatieDepartement Omgevingswetenschappen
OrganisatieeenheidBodemfysica en Landbeheer
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    feb 2018 - Nu


As researcher and lecturer at the Environmental Science Group in Wageningen University, I'm interested in land and water engineering and management to provide natural based solutions for drought, erosion, soil degradation and pollution. And as a project coordinator for the MENA region, I participated in leading several international projects especially in Middle East about Rainwater harvesting, Climate Smart Agriculture and improving teaching and research qualities in the higher education system.

In education, I'm involved in several courses e.g., Land & Water Engineering (SLM20306) & Design in Land and Water Management 2 (WRM 21312). And I'm also involved in the supervision of BSc and MSc students who are interested in topics of Climate Smart Agriculture, Rainwater Harvesting in arid and semi-arid regions like MENA.


Onderzoeker ID's


OKP-ICP-IRAQ Project funded by Nuffic

Title: Efficient water management in Iraq switching to climate smart agriculture: capacity building and knowledge development

The project aims to respond to Iraq needs for improving capacities and enhancing skills in fields of efficient water management (EWM) and climate smart agriculture (CSA) as specified in the Nuffic country plan of implementation (CPI). Therefore, this project will support the 6 Iraqi universities by improving their staffs and institutions capacities to match and deliver, the needed knowledge and skills to tackle the local and global sustainable goals (SDG). Therefore, the
project will result in improved capacities, the new graduated, that meet the needs
of the labour market, and the institutions will be more inclusive for minorities
and women.

Akvo RSR - Efficient water management in Iraq switching to climate smart agriculture: capacity building and knowledge development

Building capacity in climate smart irrigation strategies to improve salinity control and enhance agricultural production in Iraq

This tailor-made training, funded by Nuffic and requested by the staff of the college of Agriculture of Basra University, aims to help mitigate soil and water salinization problems hampering agricultural production in Iraq. The training focuses on accessing and using innovative data and tools in the public domain, to gain insight into salinity issues, improve salinity control and enhancing agricultural production in Iraq by analyzing crop performance and assessing irrigation management. Next to building capacity of participants in accessing and using innovative public-domain data, tools and models to analyze water resources and support climate-smart irrigation strategies, a key objective is to strengthen collaboration and partnerships between Dutch and Iraqi institutions in the fields of water management, agriculture, and education.

This tailor-made training aims to build capacity in using tools to support climate-smart irrigation strategies to improve salinity control and enhance agricultural production. The training provides participants with relevant hands-on experience and cutting-edge knowledge on innovative solutions in earth observation technologies and apply this to assess measures for increasing water efficiency in agriculture, increase production and achieve water and climate-smart agriculture.

Scoping saline farming options in Central and Southern Iraq

In the summer of 2021, Nectaerra and Wageningen University carried out a scoping study to provide an overview of the water and salinity situation in southern and central Iraq. The Mesopotamian Basin increasingly faces water shortages and soil degradation, for which the attached report lists some potential coping mechanisms.

The report presents maps of water quality which roughly indicate the areas in the Basin where water is suitable for agricultural purposes. Maps on saline soils are available, however, the salt concentration in the topsoil (plant roots) is not easily detected by remote sensing and salt tolerant crop vegetation can result in mis-interpretation of findings. The near-real time FAO WaPOR map can assist policy makers and farmers in water productivity monitoring.

Furthermore, the report lists a number of solutions to prevent or cope with water shortages and salinization in order to develop the agricultural sector in the Mesopotamian basin. These range from on-farm measures such as use of salt tolerant varieties, tillage and soil improvement practices, and drainage to landscape measures such as inclusion of trees. And from policy level steps on water use institutions to improved monitoring as basis for planning. The farmers’ commercial aspects and preferences should be starting point. The authors hence put forward the design of agro-hubs, where farmers can experiment and the enabling environment is facilitated.

Modern and climate smart farming and water management for selected supply chains in Iraq

Drought, salinization and flooding are major problems in many countries including Iraq. This project aimed to use of advanced knowledge and technologies to support Iraq to be more efficiently capable to manage water and land resources. TOgether with Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) and  Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the project cooperates to ensure sufficient water supplies are reaching to the farmers. MoA, supports and trains farmers to be more efficient with water management and help them to apply new approaches to minimise water usage in agriculture. 

Project title: Regenerative farming and FarmTree Tool for salinity control in Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan

Salinization of water and oil resources is a growing problem worldwide that impairs livelihood, food security and socioeconomic development. Against this context the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP) and Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) established the so-called ‘Saline Water & Food Systems’ (SW&FS) partnership platform. The overall goal of the partnership is to strengthen the cooperation of the Dutch SW&FS sector in the international context. 

The project aimed to identify and categorize typical (saline) farming systems and business models in Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan where salinity onset and effects can be mitigated by a series of sustainable practices and its outcome can be predicted using digital tools, notably the Farm Tree Tool. These tools allow CBA of farming systems and to predict effects on sustainability indices such as soil fertility, erosion resistance, carbon sequestration, and water efficiency (the root factor affecting onset and mitigation of salinity). As such, it can also help define the potential of an area. 


The course coordinator: SLM-20306 Land & Water Engineering

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