Preparation of Field Experiments, First Data Collection and Pretrials

October 2022 was a busy month in the SuLaMo project. The SuLaMo-team gathered in various constellations in the three project regions in Morocco and many project-relevant stakeholders were visited. The objectives were to finalize the field trial plans and to start the collection of socio-economic data in the field. Furthermore, the team was able to gain first insights into the site-specific soil water flow around a subsurface water source during Pretrials at two project sites.

In the region Meknès, the research team of Ecole Nationale d‘Agriculture Meknès (ENAM) met up with representatives of the Universities of Kassel, Humboldt University Berlin (HUB), the UMI Errachidia and the SuLaMo Coordinator from Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA). A vivid and constructive discussion on the field trial design was followed by a viewing of the new experimental field. Plans are now well advanced and the three-factorial field trial will be implemented as soon as the equipment, currently being prepared by the project partners irriproject and UGT in Germany, arrives in Morocco. Experts from ENAM contributed also to the socio-economic ex-ante assessment of the project goals.

At the research site Goulmima, a simulation was conducted of the Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) System, which will be implemented in the field trial. Varying flow rates and irrigation amounts have been tested. The results provide an important first impression of the site-specific evolvement of the wetting bulb around a subsurface point water source. This pretrial setup was repeated at the experimental site Idelsan near Ouarzazate.

Additionally, the region Errachidia was the focus of ex-ante interviews addressing the implementation of the new technologies studied in SuLaMo. Interesting and insightful conversations arose between the socio-economic expert from the University Kassel and stakeholders of the agricultural sector in administration, academia and practice. These were largely facilitated and coordinated by the local partner UMI Errachidia. Details on the Goulmima On-Farm field trial and the import of equipment have been discussed with the project partners from AOFEP, UMI, HKA, HUB and University Kassel.

Photographs by Helen A. Kretzschmar

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