The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre (ADFSC) to sustain farm productivity in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi by introducing salt-tolerant and water-use efficient alternative forages, following the ban on planting Rhodes grass. As part of this collaboration, ICBA has successfully established three model farms at Ghayathi, Mezaira’a and Madinat Zayed with salt-tolerant forage grasses such as Distichlis, Paspalum and Sporobolus spp., and shrubs such as Acacia ampliceps and Atriplex spp. Despite the high salinity of irrigation water on these farms, which ranged between 15 and 18 dS/m, the forage yields obtained from the new forages were very impressive.
To promote the adoption of the new forage grasses by the farmers for sustainable agricultural production in salt-affected areas, ICBA and ADFSC are organizing a field day on 16 October 2014 on the model farm at Ghayathi. The event will include an introduction on the new salt-tolerant forage crops, demonstration of the irrigation systems, crop harvesting and baling practices to the farmers, followed by an open discussion, and a questions and answers session.