Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Center Discusses Further Collaboration with ICBA
The relationship between ICBA and the Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Center (ADFSC) has developed since early 2010 and continues to strengthen. The first project together was aimed at sustaining farm-level productivity in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi by introducing improved farming management practices and developing capacity building for extension services and farmers. Building on the existing partnership, Mr. Christopher Hirst, CEO of ADFSC, and Mr. Ali Al Marzouqi, ADFSC Planning & Development Director met with ICBA management (Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General, Dr. Shoaib Ismail, Acting Director of Research and Development, and Ms. Fiona Chandler, Director of International Cooperation and Partnerships) in early October to discuss current ongoing collaborations between the two organizations and potential new collaborations. In a follow up visit later in October, an ICBA team comprised of Dr. Shoaib Ismail, Dr. Ian McCann, and Dr. Shabbir Shahid met with an ADFSC team with more information from both sides being shared. Subsequently a delegation from ADFSC lead by Eng. Saeed Alameri—Manager of the Southern Region of Al Ain, visited ICBA on the 11 November 2013 and met with Dr. Ahmed Al Sharif, Deputy Director General of ICBA and with ICBA scientists (Dr. Abdullah Al Dakheel, Field and Forage Group Scientist, and Dr. Nanduri K. Rao, Plant Genetics Resources Scientist) to discuss specific collaboration. The rich discussions and common desire to work on issues regarding marginal environments is leading to concrete projects that will be of mutual benefit to both organizations.
Dr. Al Dakheel also confirmed that both parties discussed how they could strengthen the existing relationship between ICBA and ADFSC and how they could expand their collaboration, which was historically more focused on Abu Dhabi region. Now they are interested in expanding this collaboration to cover Al Ain region, especially the salt affected farms in the southern region of Al Ain. Dr. Al Dakheel added that both parties have explored various mechanisms and frameworks that are necessary to progress the mutual collaboration.