A special ministerial session to announce the launch of the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform (IDFS)

Organized by the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation

In cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, ICARDA, and CGIAR during the 7th International Date Palm Conference.  

Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates “The commitment towards the Abu Dhabi Declaration and the launch of the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform for the development of desert agriculture is critical to mitigate the impact of the climate crisis and enhance food and water security in our region.” 

CGIAR Regional Director of Central and West Asia and North Africa, and ICARDA Director General, Mr. Aly Abousabaa: “The Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform will play a pivotal role in delivering and scaling-up food and water security innovations for the region, and help farmers be better equipped to face the climate crisis.”  

Secretary-General of KIADPAI H.E Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid: “The newly-launched Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform platform is based on solid scientific and technical foundations and will boost the development and adoption of climate-smart crops and enhanced water management systems in this climate vulnerable region.”

Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates, inaugurated the ministerial session during which the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform was launched to enhance food and water security in the face of climate change.

Taking place during the 7th International Date Palm Conference in Abu Dhabi on March 14-16, 2022, this session was organized by the General Secretariat of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIADPAI), the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

Secretary-General of KIADPAI H.E Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, attended this session, alongside CGIAR CWANA Regional Director and ICARDA Director-General Mr. Aly Abousabaa,  and Mr. Elwyn Grainger Jones, Managing Director for Institutional Strategy and Systems, at CGIAR. Eleven Arab Ministers of Agriculture were also present, and directors of regional and international organizations and delegations from national and regional agricultural research systems.

In her opening speech, Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri highlighted the importance of the Abu Dhabi Declaration which officially established West Asia and North Africa’s regional Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform for better food and water security. She also stressed the importance of accelerating the rate of transfer and adoption of modern technologies, and highlighted pioneering innovations to spur radical transformation in desert agriculture towards achieving sustainable and cost-efficient desert farming.

Deserts cover 70% of the total land area in Western Asia and North Africa, a region highly vulnerable to increasing temperatures, pests, plant diseases, desertification, biodiversity loss, land degradation, unsustainable water use, as well as harmful greenhouse gas emissions caused by the agricultural sector.

For the region’s small farmers, whose productivity is already challenged by poor soil quality, water salinity, low rainfall, limited arable land, and inadequate access to agricultural markets and services, these climate-induced impacts further marginalize them.

According to H.E Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform will also strengthen the date production sector, which plays an essential role in terms of food security, nutrition, and in securing livelihoods for thousands of smallholder farmers across the dry areas.

To do this, the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform will deliver timely innovations in water management, disseminate enhanced pest control and pollination techniques, make available improved genetic resources, and ramp up local businesses’ competitiveness.

In addition to improved water management systems, climate-smart crops, and integrated crop and livestock systems, the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform will also deploy actions to reduce desertification and promote primary industries like the date palm sector. The Date Palm project, funded by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and managed by ICARDA, will serve as a robust framework for building the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation platform.

Mr. Aly Abousabaa, CGIAR Regional Director of CWANA and ICARDA Director-General, pointed to the vital role that the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform will play as a hub for regional efforts to provide new, bold, demand-driven innovations, and advanced technologies to achieve food and environmental security in the face of the interconnected and complex challenges – including the climate crisis.

Mr. Elwyn Grainger Jones, CGIAR’s Managing Director, Institutional Strategy and Systems, the world’s presented CGIAR’s new portfolio of global innovations and the organization’s streamlined operational model during the event. Mr. Jones explained that CGIAR’s transformation is aimed at delivering research for development at scale. He added that the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform would open a new chapter of international and regional cooperation, knowledge, and assets exchanges, ultimately accelerating agricultural innovations along agricultural value chains.

CGIAR’s participation in the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform through ICARDA, will ensure that the platform benefits from the research, networks, and trust the center has built over the past four decades. The announcement of the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform Abu Dhabi Declaration is an excellent opportunity to accelerate the adoption of climate-resilient technologies, pioneering innovations, and knowledge to achieve sustainability in desert agriculture.

New technology and agricultural solutions will reach farming communities faster through the Integrated Desert Farming Innovation platform, which will provide demand-driven innovations and technologies to boost the agricultural economies of partner countries, where deserts are prevalent, and where abundant resources of solar and wind energy, as well as hardy plants and animals, can support the development of sustainable farming systems.

عن هيئة التحرير

شاهد أيضاً

عبد الوهاب زايد قامة مغربية تعانق سماء التميز الدولي في قطاع نخيل التمر

حوار خاص مع أمين عام جائزة خليفة الدولية لنخيل التمر والابتكار الزراعي ورئيس اللجنة المنظمة …