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Experts are calling for governments, scientists and private sector
to work together to combat water scarcity issues.

Abu Dhabi forum to tackle food security issues

ABU DHABI, January 27, 2016

The upcoming Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) in Abu Dhabi, UAE aims to harness global efforts to provide enough safe, nutritious food to an expanding population.

Taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on February 16 to 17, the exhibition and conference will feature more than 300 next-generation agricultural solutions that could shape the future of sustainable farming around the world.

Ali Yousef Al Saad, acting director of Communication and Community Service at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority said: “Our support for this important forum comes within the framework of ADFCA’s goals of achieving its objectives of sustainable development by supporting all initiatives that seek to tackle the current and future water challenges in Abu Dhabi and enhancing the concept of sustainable water resources.”

On the second day of the forum, a collection of experts will come together to specifically tackle ‘Water for Food Security: from scarcity to sustainability through collective innovation’. The session will ask what collective action must be taken to ensure that agriculture adapts its method in response to water scarcity.

It is estimated that two-thirds of the world’s population could be under serious conditions of water stress by 2025 and climate change is expected to further exacerbate the problem.  Water scarcity poses a real threat to food production as agriculture consumes approximately 70 per cent of the world water supplies.

The ‘golden triangle’ of government bodies, the scientific world, and the private sector working together is the only way to combat the crisis of water scarcity and its threat to food production, said Leo den Hartog, director of Research and Development at Nutreco (Trouw Nutrition) and Professor of Wageningen University.

 “Science should work on new technologies in this field, the private sector should take initiatives to get it realised and the government should support financially, by creating the platforms and by adjusting legislation when needed,” he said.

The second day of the forum will feature a session by Rajesh Solomon Paul, Director of Excel Geomatics Pvt, entitled, ‘Satellite based crop monitoring’.

“Land capability mapping, land sustainability studies, appropriate crop identification for cultivation, water budgeting, rain-water harvesting, the development of crop varieties that can thrive on minimum water requirements and lining of canals are a few of the areas government, private sector and scientists can work together to reduce water scarcity issues,” said Paul.

“Educating farmers about the importance of the efficient use of water and the problems associated to over-drafting water could also help significantly.”

Together, GFIA and VIV MEA are expected to host more than 500 exhibitors of innovative technology, making Abu Dhabi home to the largest agricultural event in the region.  The organisers also expect to build upon last year’s 4,550 visitors from 85 countries. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Water | GFIA | Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture |

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