The National Strategy to combat salinity and protect water resources from pollution and salinity in Oman was launched on 2 October 2012 in Oman by Sheikh Fadl bin Mohammed Al Harthy, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers. Sheikh Fadl praised the strategy as ‘a scientific and realistic diagnosis of the problem and places that experience salinization’.
Having shared a long and fruitful partnership over many years, representatives of ICBA, FAO and ICARDA met on 4 October 2012 at ICBA headquarters in Dubai to map out future possibilities for cooperation within the United Arab Emirates specifically and the wider region in general.
Dr Samuel Gameda, Director of Soil Health and Fertility Program at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) based in Addis Ababa visited ICBA on 30 September 2012.
HE Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water congratulated Dr Ismahane Elouafi on her recent appointment as the ICBA Director General when he met with her on 15 September 2012.
Sixteen people from seven countries in the region (Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen) learnt more about the importance of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and soil and irrigation management in the use of marginal quality water (MQW) in agricultural production when they participated in a specialized workshop organized by ICBA.
Crop diversification and sustainable management of marginal land resources in three Central Asian countries (Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan) is the focus of a four-year partnership involving ICBA, ICRISAT and ICARDA commencing in 2011.
Dr Ismahane Elouafi, a Moroccan/Canadian, took up the position of ICBA Director General in August 2012.
The recent Liwa Date Festival provided a well-attended forum for ICBA to demonstrate the success of its long-term research into elite date palm varieties to assess the impact of marginal quality irrigation on soil properties, date palm growth, productivity and fruit quality.
On 16 July, ICBA scientists were able to learn more about research being undertaken in Japan on soils quality improvement when a Japanese group visited ICBA. The group comprised representatives from the Graduate School of Engineering in Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and farmers specializing in tomato production.