Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has enhanced the efficiency levels of its plant protection laboratories under the Research and Development Division with state of the art equipment with a view to improve performance through following the latest diagnostic methods to detect the pathogens and insects such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, and phyto-plasma with higher accuracy.
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said the upgrading of the labs would have an immediate positive impact on pests with serious economic consequences for agricultural production. "ADFCA has always paid close attention to developing and adopting effective methods to fight agricultural pests and plant diseases in order to increase productivity and guarantee food safety," he pointed out.
Al Reyaysa said the Authority was trying to enhance the research and development processes as part of implementing its strategic plans. "Prevention of plant diseases is of critical importance for both the agriculture and food sectors. This will have many positive consequences for the farming sector as well as the food safety sector in the long and short terms," he added.
The laboratories have now been given the latest fluorescent microscope equipped with high resolution digital camera for use in detecting plant pathogens. It uses natural and UV lighting and helps in detecting nucleic acids in pathological microorganisms. It also helps in differentiating fungi with more than one strain through their precise physical measurement. Another new equipment is the Stereo Microscope which also has a high resolution digital camera capable of detecting insect pests.
The Research and Development Division is trying to identify through these new equipment harmful pests and to document these processes as part of the biological control program. This will in turn lead to building a data base of agricultural pests in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, eventually helping researchers in many ways.