ABU DHABI — The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture opens today (March 20) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of ADFCA.
Held in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and supported by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the GFIA conference will feature 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 first day of the conference will start with a welcome address by His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE. Among the other highlights on the first day is a session on date palm production, which will present the challenges and opportunities facing producers of dates, one of the most important crops in the Middle East, and will include Dr Majid Sultan Al Qassimi, Director of the Animal Health and Development Department of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
Thamer Al Qasemi, Director of the Communication and Community Service Division at ADFCA, said: “When the GFIA was launched in 2014, it leveraged partnerships with over 40 influential organizations that wanted a platform to show the world how technology gives us the only real change of feeding nine billion people without destroying the environment.
“Now in its fourth edition, the GFIA is not only a forum for key stakeholders to discuss policy, strategy and solutions for a food secure future, but a live marketplace for suppliers to meet thousands of farmers and procurement managers from government, food producers, agri-businesses, NGOs and cooperatives.
“The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority has supported the development of GFIA since its inception and this year, we are hosting two unique programs – one for farmers flying into Abu Dhabi from around the world and another for the very best scientists working in sustainable agriculture. These programs will have a great impact on the success of the event as we tackle the overarching aim of achieving environmentally responsible farming practices.”
Among the panel of speakers will be Khadim Al Darei, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Al Dahra Agriculture Company; Memli Krasniqi, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development in Republic of Kosovo; André Laperrière, Executive Director, Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN).
; Dawood Al Yahyai, Director of Aquaculture Development, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries in Oman; Eng. Ahmed R. Al Ballaa, CEO, National Aquaculture Group; and Alya Al Mazroui, Programe Manager at the National Centre of Meteorology & Seismology, who will be giving an update on the progress to date of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science.
GFIA will feature an exhibition hosting some 250 companies, and an Innovations Program, 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. — SG