Saline Water and Food Systems

Drought crops water

Salinisation is rapidly becoming one of the biggest challenges for food production worldwide. Salt-affected soils occur naturally, for example in (semi)arid areas with limited precipitation. Along coastal regions and in deltas, salinity intrusion via tidal dynamics and sea level rise increasingly impacts agricultural production.

NFP and NWP convene the SW&FS Partnership

Salinity severely impacts crop development and growth, threatening food security, biodiversity and livelihoods of millions of people in various parts of the world. For this reason, the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP) and Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) set up a partnership on ‘Saline Water & Food Systems’ (SW&FS). The partnership consists of knowledge institutes, a broad variety of the business community including innovative SMEs, and locally operating experts. It is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

The ambition is to create more impact by initiating new research or collaboration activities, that result in actual  implementation projects in LMICs, to achieving SDG2 and SDG6.

What we're working on

Responses to salinity depend on the local context and can range from mitigating (e.g. salinity intrusion prevention) to adaptive actions (e.g. salt-tolerant crops). The Netherlands has a solid and promising position in both areas and is known for its integrated perspective on water management and its sustainable food systems approach.  We strengthen cooperation between the Dutch water and agrifood sectors and their collaboration with international and national networks, knowledge institutes and implementors. It is important to have a good understanding of the issue locally and address salinity in an integrated and systematic way.

  • Stimulating coordination and cooperation between Dutch organisations at the interface of water and agriculture by means of linking networks, organisations and persons working on salinity;
  • Develop a joint and coherent vision on dealing with salinity. Such a joint vision and clear approach towards research, innovation, pilots and feasible scaling, would support the profiling and implementation of programs in emerging economies and developing countries;
  • Knowledge and information sharing (project examples, overview of measures to address salinity) through meetings and online platforms;
  • Informing and influencing the international policy and research agendas;
  • Initiating and supporting new research, implementation or collaboration activities. NFP and NWP can support partners by investing time and/or making a small financial contribution available (‘seed money’).

Community lead

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Babette Bodlaender