ICBA, FAO, ICARDA collaboration on projects for the UAE
The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) are working together to consolidate and collaborate on projects aimed for the United Arab Emirates.
After an initial meeting in October 2012 between ICBA, FAO, and ICARDA, steering and technical committees were formed to explore the potential areas of collaboration between the three institutions to better serve the UAE. As a result, the technical committee, capitalizing on the 3 institutions strengths, has developed integrated proposals. The proposals aim to address some of the UAE agriculture challenges such as water scarcity and food security through the use of non-conventional water resources and Hydroponics system..
In today’s meeting, representative of the three organizations and the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) of the UAE discussed the proposals and agreed on the path forward. It was agreed that capacity building will be a strong component of the project and that it will be tailored to the UAE needs in the selected subject matters.
Commenting on the meeting outcome, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi said “This is a great example of ‘Coalition of willing’ between the three organizations. The presence of the Ministry during the proposal development is crucial. It allows us to focus on the Policy Question and to make sure our research for development is addressing the government needs.”
Dr. Shabbir Shahid, Salinity Management Scientist at ICBA, added, “The main objective of this collaboration is to join effort of research and development institutions to contribute to food security and to enhance the water and crop productivity in the UAE.”