MBZ visits farm research centre on environment day

President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has visited the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in Dubai…reports Asian Lite News

As part of his field tours in various emirates, President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has visited the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) in Dubai, which specialises in agricultural research aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainability in saline and marginal environments.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed was received by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment; Razan Al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), along with other senior officials.

At the beginning of his tour, the UAE President planted a Ghaf tree, which is known for its ability to withstand difficult climatic and environmental conditions and has acquired a special symbolism in the history and identity of the UAE.

Sheikh Mohamed’s tour included the outdoor area, which includes various trees that were especially planted and on which experiments were carried out, especially plants that tolerate salinity. The tour also included the Desert Life Sciences Laboratory, the Genebank and the Emirates Soil Museum.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed listened to an explanation from ICBA officials about their most important achievements, national, regional and international partnerships and fields of work, in addition to their future research plans. The officials detailed the plans that include research on sustainable management of natural resources, irrigation efficiency, remote sensing, climate-adapted crops and genome research for healthier crops, among others.

The UAE President praised the efforts of the centre’s staff and the important role ICBA plays in one of the most important areas related to development in the UAE and the world – agriculture and water.

He stressed that ICBA embodies the UAE’s leading role in working to achieve sustainable development at the regional and global levels, by investing knowledge, innovation and scientific research in finding solutions to the challenges facing biosaline agriculture and soil problems. It is also innovating modern methods to optimally use water for agriculture, and developing agricultural strains capable of adapting under difficult environmental and climatic conditions.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said the UAE accords food security great priority in its development plans. Thus, it is interested in agriculture and the use of the latest scientific and technological methods to advance agriculture and increase productivity. He said the ICBA’s work confirmed the UAE’s belief that science was the main way to tackle challenges facing humanity in various areas, especially agriculture and water.

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Over the years, ICBA has established itself as a global centre of excellence and a go-to research-for-development partner in different regions. It focuses on developing tailor-made solutions for marginal environments and has partners in more than 50 countries, enabling it to leverage a vast and diverse pool of expertise to achieve a greater impact on the ground.

The centre has carried out research-for-development activities and programmes in some 40 countries in Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, the South Caucasus, and sub-Saharan Africa.

The centre has also developed and introduced 24 technologies and crops in around 30 countries. They range from improved genotypes of quinoa and Salicornia to drought monitoring solutions. Under its plant genetic resources programme, ICBA has distributed nearly 9,000 seed samples to scientists, farmers and other stakeholders in 57 countries.

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