The irrigation system in Trebinje covers almost entire area of the city, and it is important to find the most efficient way to use that potential, since the extensive agricultural production that we want to achieve here is not possible without the use of good and well managed irrigation systems. Our goal is to access funds through the "Smartwater” project and make significant improvement in this area, said Natasa Cerekovic from Agricultural Faculty at University of Banja Luka, the assistant at project “Smartwater”.
“Smartwater” project aims are to boost adoption of smart water management techniques in BiH agriculture and to promote twinning activities with other international bodies and reinforcing networking, research and S&T cooperation capacities.
“The installation of irrigation systems in this area started much earlier than in the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Last year, we visited this area and saw the systems, those from Austro-Hungarian era, as well as those built in the second half of the 20th century and in the last decade. There is a great need for irrigation here. Around 1.500 acres of arable land is covered by irrigation systems, which is more than 80 percent coverage. It is very important to us to see the way these things function in Trebinje. There are many activities aimed at improving water resources management, such as workshops and education. Through these workshops we want to find out how much the science can help farmers, and to present new innovative solutions”, said Cerekovic.
Enrique Playan, the Professor at Scientific Research Institute of Zaragoza “CSIS”, said that he got familiar with the irrigation system in Trebinje and the way it functions during his stay in Herzegovina last year.
“The most important aspect of our activities here is visiting our farmers to be able to base our reactions on their experience. We travel through Bosnia and Herzegovina to establish the need for research in management of water resources in agriculture. A part of my team visited the area two years ago and got familiar with the water resources management here”, said professor Playan.
He mentioned that he had a meeting with the local Water Users Association representatives, where he was presented with the problems they have, especially with the irrigation systems maintenance.
“We have excellent infrastructure but it is necessary to maintain the systems and install water meters on all the systems. It is also necessary to strengthen the professional staff so that they can improve their cooperation with the local farmers”, stated professor Playan.
The partners of the “Smartwater” project are University of Banja Luka, University of Sarajevo, University of Lisbon, Mediterranean University CIHEAM Bari, SysMan company and Scientific Research Institute of Zaragoza “CSIC”