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H.E. Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change & Environment opens Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture

H.E. Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change & Environment opens Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture

Tuesday, February 16, 2016/ Editor -  

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  • 3rd edition of major agriculture show returns with
  • 500 innovative solutions to tackle global hunger

Abu Dhabi, 16 February 2016: His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has officially opened the 3rd edition of the Global Forum of Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) today.

During the opening ceremony, ‘Game-changing innovations for food security’, HE Dr Thani delivered the welcome address to hundreds of VIPs, government officials, international and regional agri-scientists, before cutting the ribbon of the exhibition and touring the halls.

Taking place until 17 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre 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, GFIA is the world’s largest and most influential sustainable agriculture show welcoming thousands of agri-scientists, inventors, growers, food suppliers and producers, NGOs, and key government officials.

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.

Ali Yousef Al Saad, Acting Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said: “All indications in the run up to the show were pointing towards an incredibly busy opening day and the turnout from international participants has now made it the biggest agricultural show in the world.

“There are scientists from more than 80 countries willing to share their expertise and collaborate with governments and businesses for the better future of our planet.”

The first morning of the conference featured world-class experts from Ireland, Australia, Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands who highlighted the need for innovative approaches to data monitoring and analysis of agriculture stress factors, such as pesticides, extreme climate conditions, air and water pollution. Examples of applied micro devices and space technology were presented, including the use of hi-tech bee backpacks and near real-time crop monitoring.

The plenary session, ‘Working together to implement agricultural innovations’, addressed the need for innovations to help meet the global demand to increase food production by 70 percent to feed over 9 billion people by 2050.  Speakers included Mamadou Biteye, Rockefeller Foundation in Kenya; Faisal Abdulla Alhmoudi, Enterprise Development & Innovation at the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee; Thad Simmons, Novus International Inc, in the USA and Dr. Joel Cuello, The University of Arizona, USA.

During a panel discussion over collaboration between public, private, and scientific sectors to promote and facilitate sustainable farming, speakers concluded that integrated crop protection and sustainable cultivation is the only way forward for farmers around the world.

Another highlight of the day was the afternoon session dedicated to forest lands restoration. The speakers, including Professor M. S. Swaminathan, Founder, The M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), India, who was placed in Time magazine’s list of most influential Asian people of the 20th century, delivered a highly engaging presentation on sustainable development of agriculture and the preservation of biodiversity worldwide.

GFIA runs alongside VIV MEA, a new regional version of the highly successful livestock production events held in Europe and Asia which are helping to bring about a rethinking on global food security.

GFIA is sponsored by the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Khalifa International Award for Date Palm & Agricultural Innovation, Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Centre, Emirates Food Industries, Koppert Biological Systems, AGCO, GODAN, Mato Grosso, The Rockefeller Foundation and CoolFarm and staged with the support of Masdar Institute, University of Arizona, Kingdom of The Netherlands, CTA, GlobalG.A.P, CGIAR, SAI Platform, Wageningen UR and the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau.


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