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Tom Joyce

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Cooperation key to UAE water security

The ADFSC and ICBA have agreed to cooperate to improve the efficiency of the UAE’s water resources, including research into salt-tolerant plants

Cooperation key to UAE water security

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The Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre, ADFSC, and the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture, ICBA, have agreed to cooperate on a number of water conservation initiatives in the UAE, according to a report from Emirates News Agency.

Projects include improving the productivity of palm trees, vegetables and fodder grown in highly saline soils and studying the water requirements of these salt-tolerant plants.

The two centres signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve the efficiency of water resources using remote sensing technologies. These technologies help to monitor crop evapotranspiration, track the outbreak of plant diseases and pests, and find solutions to these problems using mobile Apps.

Nasser Mohammed Al Junaibi, acting CEO of the ADFSC, said the optimisation of water resources and the search for ways to make use of saline water were an environmental necessity due to water scarcity.

"We are pleased to work with the ICBA as one of the world's leading institutes in terms of biosaline agriculture and using saline water in irrigation,” he said. “The move reflects our commitment to provide all types of technical and scientific support to farmers to achieve a sustainable agricultural policy by exploiting the available natural resources of soil and water."

Dr Ismahane Elouafi, director general of ICBA, commented, "Throughout its 19 years of operations in the UAE, the ICBA has had several research and development projects with the agriculture and water sectors, mainly in Abu Dhabi, which has the highest number of farmers. The ICBA's research is behind several policies in Abu Dhabi, aimed at reducing water usage in agriculture.

“We are delighted to sign this MoU with the ADFSC to strengthen and amplify our support to farmers in Abu Dhabi via know-how and technology transfer."

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