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H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change & Environment opens GFIA

H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change & Environment opens GFIA

20.03.2017: Middle East’s major agriculture show returns with hundreds of innovative solutions to tackle global hunger

Middle East’s major agriculture show returns with hundreds of innovative solutions to tackle global hunger





Caption:    His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment opens the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture at ADNEC.



His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has officially opened the fourth edition of the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) today.



During the opening ceremony, HE Dr Thani delivered the welcome address to hundreds of VIPs, government officials, farm owners, international and regional agricultural scientists, where he discussed the huge tasks ahead in light of the growing scarcity of fresh water, the scale of degradation of arable land and the increasing volatility of weather as a result of the changing climate.



Climate change is seen as the biggest long-term challenge to farming, especially in developing countries where the farming community comprises 70% of the world’s poor.  The increasing frequency of droughts and floods, changing rainfall patterns, steadily increasing surface temperatures and extreme weather phenomena will make food production increasingly difficult.



Taking place until 21 March at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and held under the patronage of His Highness 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 features 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 has attracted thousands of participants from around the world, 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: “The next two days will see leaders from across agriculture kick off dialogue by sharing their visions, progress to date and lessons learned for building secure, sustainable and profitable food production systems for 2030 and beyond.




“Scientists from around the globe have travelled to Abu Dhabi to share their expertise and collaborate with governments and businesses for the better future of our planet.”



A special session on the opening day, called ‘Towards a Sustainable Saudi Agriculture Sector’, was supported by the Ministry of Environment Water and Agriculture in Saudi Arabia, in conjunction with the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs. 





Moderated by Dr Hans van der Beek, Agricultural Counsellor for GCC countries from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, the audience heard about the challenges in developing a sustainable agriculture sector in Saudi Arabia and the efforts of the date and palm sector in farming sustainably.



Another highlight of the opening day was the ‘Blue Bio-Economy’ session which tackled opening up new horizons for the seas to support innovative, sustainable food and other high value bio marine products and industries in the GCC region. 



While the blue bio-economy concept is relatively new, it is quickly gaining importance around the world due to the potential benefits from using under-utlised, renewable, abundant biological marine resources.



  It incorporates the traditional fisheries industry but also include new developing areas such as aquaculture, algae culture and marine bio-products.  The panel explored the barriers to be tackled in order to fully realise the opportunities for growth of the blue bio-economy in the Middle East.
 



GFIA will feature an exhibition hosting some 250 companies, and an Innovations Programme, showcasing a series of 15-minute talks from companies who think they have a next-generation solution that could shape the future of farming around the world.  Further information can be found at www.InnovationsInAgriculture.com.




- Lindsay Johnston, Total Communications Dubai - also photo

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20.03.2017 / MaP

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