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Innovations showcased at the event

GFIA boost to sustainable farming

ABU DHABI, March 29, 2017

Over 1,000 of farm owners, government officials, international and regional agricultural scientists, innovators and investors attended the recently concluded Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The organisers of GFIA hailed the fourth edition of the event a success in the development of sustainable farming across the GCC and wider Middle East.

The event allowed attendees to explore over 300 solutions showcased by exhibitors and attend high level conference sessions, panel discussions, workshops, innovation presentations and technical tours, said a statement from the organisers.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, the GFIA conference featured speakers from around the world tackling five key challenges: climate-resilient crops; growing the aquaculture industry; future-proofing animal health; smallholder farmer development; and sustainable animal production.

The much anticipated two-day event, which attracted over 5,900 participants from over 80 countries, acts as an international platform for a debate over global food security and water scarcity – two major issues the world faces today.

Thamer Al Qasemi, director of the communication and community service division at ADFCA, said: “Our unique hosted programmes for both farmers and scientists were platforms for game-changing discussions in our ongoing efforts to take the most innovative ideas from the research lab to the fields.”

“The GFIA is one of the few events in the world to present solutions and inspire debate across all types of food production and we have been very pleased with the results and discussions that have taken place here in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

Before the event had opened more than 1,000 meetings had been pre-booked between exhibitors and visitors. With more than 80 per cent of exhibitors stating they were satisfied, the event this year drew strong support internationally, it said.

Ocean Harvest from Ireland, Arvo Tec and EverGreen Farm Oy from Finland, Ponix Systems in Austria, Beijing Kingpen from China and AgriLife from India all did significant business at the event and have all re-booked to exhibit in 2018 alongside a host of home-grown UAE companies including Emirates Future, Radoom Agriculture Establishment and Stud Pac, it added.

More than 50 innovative solutions were presented across the two day event to support more productive food production across the crop, livestock, aquaculture and horticulture industries, said a statement.  

ADFCA innovations included sustainable beekeeping in the UAE, fruit plantation (technologies and operations) and climate control in highly technical agricultural nurseries.  

Five innovations published by UAE University were: a customised soil and irrigation monitoring system; recognition of plant diseases using smart photo processing; extracting organic antibiotics from dates; deep irrigation study for palm trees; and technologies to increase local citrus trees.

They covered diverse topics such as mitigating enteric methane production from ruminant animals, the early detection of the red palm weevil, how to sustainably produce food in urban areas, aquasourcing to retain and absorb moisture, taking advantage of fully sustainable indoor growing systems, sustainable beekeepers in the UAE, and developing the internet for farmers without the internet.

Dutch firm Solynta presented their breakthrough findings which have unlocked the tremendous potential of potatoes – 25 gram pristine true seeds which accurately, predictably and quickly breed new varieties with durable disease resistance, increased yield and are resilient to climate change.

The day after the conclusion of the event, five technical site tours were arranged to give participants the opportunity to visit some of the best sustainable farming operations and businesses, as well as research and development facilities in the UAE, said the organisers.

The tours took place at the Aquaponics Farm in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre Model Farm, the Seawater Energy and Agricultural System and the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture in Dubai, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: | farming | sustainable | GFIA |

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