Stolen Harvest

The Harran plain lies in the cradle of one of the world’s oldest civilizations that flourished between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris.

In 1996, planned irrigation came to Harran Plain in southeast Turkey. It was expected to bring a lot of benefits to agriculture in the region. Between then and 2012, the area under irrigation has increased from 35,000 to 150,000. However, the irrigation has been excessive and more than 10% of that land has been lost to salinization already. A much greater area is under threat of following suit.

Experts point out that the irrigation systems introduced in the region comprise mostly of open channels, and are therefore bound to fail given the topography and the climate. Annual evaporation losses in Harran are five times the annual rainfall. Under such conditions, open irrigation systems are bound to lead to soil salinization. Closed systems such as pipelines and drip irrigation systems are much more suitable, and much necessary in order to prevent degradation of land and hardship to farmers.

More info:
Produced by: Sukru Esin
Year: 2013
Language: Turkish with English subtitles
Region: Turkey, West Asia

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