Belhaif Al Nuaimi discusses ways of driving innovation in agriculture
Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, toured the Agricultural Innovation Centre of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, in Al Dhaid, Al Foah’s date receiving centre, and the Sharjah Seed Bank and Herbarium at Sharjah Research Academy.
The visit was part of the Ministry’s efforts to enhance food security, sustainability, safety, and self-sufficiency in the UAE.
Sultan Alwan, Acting Undersecretary of MoCCAE, and Saif Al Shara, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Sustainable Communities Sector, accompanied the Minister during his visit.
During his tour of the Agricultural Innovation Centre, Dr. Al Nuaimi discussed ways of driving research, development, and innovation in agriculture in partnership with relevant public and private sector entities in the country.
He also highlighted the significance of international cooperation and exchange of experience in leveraging state-of-the-art technologies to achieve food security and sustainability.
Stressing the important role of the Centre in advanced agricultural research, the Minister called for stepping up collaboration with academic and research institutions, and encouraging students of relevant specialisations to participate in the entity’s scientific studies and innovative projects.
Dr. Al Nuaimi inspected preparations for the launch of the second experimental phase of the rice cultivation project at the Centre in cooperation with the Rural Development Administration, RDA, of the Republic of Korea.
In talks with the Korean team, he explored the possibilities of developing rice cultivation projects in the country to increase production and reduce water demand in order to expand the footprint of this important crop across the country.
In its first phase that ran from November 2019 to May 2020, the project achieved success in cultivating Japonica and Indica rice on an area of 2,200 square metres. The two varieties proved capable of withstanding high temperatures and local soil conditions.
The Minister said, "Building innovation capabilities is one of the basic pillars of developing the agricultural sector and achieving food security and sustainability – currently a top priority for the UAE. Therefore, MoCCAE seeks to strengthen cooperation with all UAE entities active in the agricultural sector as well as independent innovators to identify solutions to increase the volume of local agricultural production and raise its efficiency."
During his visit to the Sharjah Seed Bank and Herbarium at Sharjah Research Academy, Dr. Al Nuaimi reviewed advancements in the research and development of high-yielding crop varieties that can adapt to the country’s climatic conditions, in addition to climate-resilient varieties.
He expressed his gratitude to H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his continued endeavours to support scientific research in diverse sectors, especially agriculture.
During his visit to the date receiving centre of Al Foah, the UAE’s flagship date producer, the Minister examined the requirements for increasing date production in the country and boosting the global competitiveness of the product.
Dr. Al Nuaimi met with the centre’s officials to discuss the possibility of leveraging its presence in the agricultural region of Al Dhaid to sell date waste to local livestock farms as animal feed.