Sunday 23/06/2024 07:50:00 AM

ADAFSA leverages innovative national talents to lead smart, sustainable projects

The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) continues its efforts to achieve agricultural sustainability and enhance the agricultural sector through innovative programmes and projects. Collaborating with partners, it implements smart and modern agricultural practices supporting the nation’s food security efforts.

The authority operates three applied agricultural research stations that support research and development activities. These stations develop and adopt agricultural technologies suited to the country's environment and climate, ensuring optimal resource use and addressing soil, climate, and water scarcity challenges.

The stations are managed by highly skilled national staff experienced in innovative methods and modern agricultural technology transfer, including advanced irrigation systems, integrated pest management, plant disease control, crop cultivation, and livestock development.

In May 2019, the ADAFSA signed an MoU with the Korea Rural Development Administration (KRDA) to enhance cooperation in agricultural research and technology. This partnership led to the KOREA-UAE Smart farm Research Project at the Al Kuwaitat Research Station in Al Ain.

Established in 1969, the Kuwaitat Research Station in Al Ain covers 50.6 hectares and focuses on innovative research to achieve food security and environmental sustainability. It collaborates with local and international research centres and universities, trains agricultural students and graduates, and facilitates knowledge exchange among researchers.

Under the KOREA-UAE Smart Farm Research Project, a greenhouse model suitable for desert climates was developed, alongside a closed hydroponic system for growing various fruits and vegetables. The greenhouse covers 2,070 square meters, with a 1,536-square-meter area for soil-less cultivation experiments.

Suhail Mohsen Saleh Al-Thaibani, a lead agricultural researcher, highlighted the project as a prime example of bilateral cooperation, sharing agricultural expertise, and developing best practices for greenhouse farming to benefit local farmers.

Noura Saeed Al Nuaimi, principal agricultural researcher, emphasised the project's role in strengthening the strategic partnership between the UAE and the Republic of Korea, and international cooperation for agricultural sustainability.

Al Nuaimi noted the introduction of modern agricultural technologies like advanced cooling systems and hydroponics to enhance the climate inside greenhouses and increase productivity.

She added that ongoing field experiments aim to identify the best modern farming practices to boost agricultural sustainability and food security in the UAE.

Awad Khalifa Al-Nuaimi, agricultural researcher, stated that the ADAFSA aligns with the government's sustainability and food security strategy, implementing projects focused on smart and sustainable agricultural practices, including various greenhouse and crop cultivation methods.

In collaboration with Khalifa University, the authority implements a modern agricultural technologies programme to improve productivity and environmental sustainability, enhancing crop quality and reducing resource use.

The programme includes three initiatives: "Agriculture 4.0" using Information Communication Technology (ICT) and AI, "Post-Harvest Management" to minimise agricultural product loss, and "Climate-Smart Practices" to establish Abu Dhabi-specific standards for climate-smart agriculture.