Launch of new climate-smart desert farming in the CWANA region

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05 March 2022, Abu Dhabi: During the 7th International Date Palm Conference in Abu Dhabi, the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KAIDPAI), along with ICARDA, under CGIAR, will join forces with 15 Regional Ministers and Government representatives, expert scientists, and development partners, to establish the world’s first Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform – a new regional research hub for collaboration and delivery of evidence-based science and innovation for climate-smart agriculture within vulnerable desert ecosystems.

At the culmination of the event on March 15, the Abu Dhabi Integrated Desert Farming Systems Declaration is expected to be announced.

The two sessions will be welcomed respectively by Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary-General of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, as well as Mr. Aly Abousabaa, CGIAR’s CWANA Regional Director and ICARDA Director-General, and Dr. Kundhavi Kadiresan, CGIAR’s Managing Director of Global Engagement and Innovation.

As outlined in the recent IPCCC report, climate change devastates the livelihoods and social cohesion of farming communities, as well as agricultural economies throughout the globe, and nowhere more so than in the vulnerable dry regions of Central and West Asia, and North Africa (CWANA).

Yet the region offers vast potential in the form of renewable energy resources and an abundance of climate-resilient plants and animals.

The IDFS platform will boost a new phase of international and regional collaboration to build on established foundations of improved water management, the development of climate-smart crops, and integrated crop/livestock systems, along with efforts to reduce desertification, while boosting pillar industries such as date palm production.

It will also fast-track technology innovation breakthroughs in water and soil productivity and accelerate the adoption of innovative information technology, artificial intelligence, integrated pest management, and digital extension services.

The Integrated Desert Farming Innovation Platform Transforming Food, Nutrition, and Water Security under Climate Change Side Event is organized under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates in cooperation with the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIADPAI), CGIAR – the world’s largest publicly funded agricultural research network, and ICARDA.

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