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UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (2011)

Drought vulnerability and adaptation in Balkh province of Afghanistan

Ziaee, F.

Titre : Drought vulnerability and adaptation in Balkh province of Afghanistan

Auteur : Ziaee, F.

Université de soutenance : UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2011

Balkh province is located in the north of Afghanistan and is considered one of the major wheat production areas in the country. Agriculture and livestock in the province has suffered extensively from drought periods in the last decades, which is evidence of agriculture vulnerability to drought. To develop drought mitigation plans requires a clear understanding of who is vulnerable, and how this vulnerability is distributed in space. Long-term planning requires identifying ways to deal and reduce the potential impact of drought. The study focuses on (1) categorizing vulnerability of different land cover types (irrigated agriculture, rainfed agriculture and rangelands) to drought, and (2) identifying suitable strategies to reduce vulnerability of the most vulnerable land cover types to drought in order to reduce the potential impact of drought, should this occur again. The crop water requirement satisfaction index (WRSI) is calculated for the study area on a 0.25 degree grid and coupled with the soil water holding capacity (WHC). A land cover map and an irrigation map of the study area are used to identify different land cover types and access to irrigation respectively. A framework for the development of a drought vulnerability map was created by combining all map layers using GIS. Drought vulnerability is expressed as a combination of categories in each of the factors for different land cover types (ranked from low to high vulnerability), WRSI and soil WHC. An alternative crop to wheat in rainfed area is selected based on the suitability to sowing period, short growing period and low water requirement. All rainfed wheat with high and moderate vulnerability is replaced with maize to reduce vulnerability of agricultural yield in the area to drought. Results show that rainfed croplands (rainfed winter wheat) are the most vulnerable to drought due to low WRSI in the major part of the province, un-suitable sowing period and long growing period. Replacement of rainfed wheat with maize in high and moderate wheat vulnerability areas will reduce over vulnerability of rainfed croplands to drought by 56%.

Sujets  : drought vulnerability analysis adaptation agriculture Afghanistan


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