The International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture is mounting its effort to spread sustainable farming ideas across United Arab Emirates. The goal is to boost its access in improving farming system in the region in repealing the damage due climate change.
Two years ago, the Dubai based agriculture center introduced to 750 farmers from 8 Middle East Countries the project worth Dh22million to develop farming and attain another 750 for the next year.
The said venture helps farmers in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen in making their lands more supple or adaptable to changing environmental conditions.
Including in the plan will be next year’s knowledge-sharing and workshops in Morocco.
According to the head of the agriculture center, getting the right seeds is the tailback of this project. “Any look into adaptation of agricultural systems and changing environments means we have to find better-adapted genetic material. This is the key element of finding more resilient genotypes”, he said.
Researchers identified crops and seeds that could succeed in a desert environment and, therefore, improve the quality of the land and food produced.
He further explained that the higher temperature is, the more the land is salinity.
“The heat is coming earlier and that’s how it affects crop production in the region. So we have to find a genotype of crop that has a shorter life cycle while maintaining the level of accepted productivity.”
Team of researchers and experts in the center must generate seeds that can be more widely spread with the genotypes were already recognized but it has to be produced locally.
“We’re creating facilities for seed production and knowledge by training farmers on how to produce these seeds and handle these genotypes so they can adapt them on a larger scale”, he added.
To adopt the practice, International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture will coordinate with the Ministry of Environment and Water and the Farmers’ Services Centre, a government body given the task of modernizing Abu Dhabi farms.
Additional plans consists of putting up an another school for rural women and additional model farms Al Ain and the Northern Emirates to the current four in the Western Region.