Irrigation systems ‘must be improved’

Experts have urged Thailand to develop its irrigation system to ensure food security for the world’s growing population and a precautionary cover against the impact of climate change. More than 1,200 policy-makers, academics, and NGOs from 45 countries gathered in Chiang Mai on November 6 for the opening of the second World Irrigation Forum. During the event, all key speakers stressed the need to improve and expand irrigation systems to address food shortages and help fight poverty. Bart Schultz, winner of the second World Irrigation and Drainage Prize and an emeritus professor at Unesco-IHE in the Netherlands, said in his forum speech that the world’s big challenge now was to feed its growing population in the future, while handling the effects of climate change. “The world population is steadily increasing. If the population is still growing at this pace, there will be 9 billion people by 2055 and more than 10 billion in 2095, compared to the current population of 7 billion people,” Schultz said.

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