Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), opens on Monday from 5th to 6th February, 2018 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority. Her Excellency Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi – Minister of State for Future Food Security, His Excellency Saeed Albahri Salem Alameri – Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and His Excellency Khalifa Ahmed Al Ali – Director General of the Abu Dhabi Food Security Centre, today at the Abu Dhabi Economic Media Club of the Department of Economic Development - Abu presented their thoughts on the forthcoming forum.
Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi - Minister of State for Future Food Security said: "The Forum presents an ideal platform for the government, the private sector and the community to establish partnerships for cooperation. Discussion on the visions and strategies to introduce innovation into the future food security equation and agricultural production, will set plans to address the challenges and requirements of today and the future, which include diversifying food sources, increasing productivity, and addressing the needs of the private sector which is a cornerstone of all food security plans. The Forum also seeks to outline pragmatic solutions to increase investment in the agricultural sector, which will guarantee sustainable food security for generations to come."
His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy added: "The Forum is an excellent opportunity for national companies operating in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider region to learn about the latest innovations and technologies related to the agricultural sector in different countries of the world. It will support building new partnerships that contribute to the diversification of the economy and further strengthening it, and promoting the development and growth of the agriculture and food sectors as vital sectors for the future of the Emirate and the UAE. The Government is working to develop these sectors by encouraging public and private companies and institutions in Abu Dhabi and the UAE to adopt innovation which will help achieve the goals of food security and meeting food demands for the population in more effective and sustainable ways."
His Excellency Eng. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry said: "GFIA gives us an opportunity to discuss global best practices to achieve water and energy sustainability by adopting innovation to rationalize the consumption of natural resources and implement sustainable practices in agriculture and food industries. At the same time it supports maintaining the quality and integrity of outputs in line with the priorities of the UAE Vision 2021 to build a sustainable and diversified knowledge-based economy that achieves the government's drive to preserve the environment and protect it from the effects of waste of energy and water. This is especially important as the UAE depends mainly on the desalination of sea water in securing its water needs."
His Excellency Saeed Albahri Salem Alameri - Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority added: "In keeping with the Late Sheikh Zayed's vision and values of promoting sustainability, GFIA brings together agricultural and food production innovators, government and scientists to showcase game-changing innovations and new technologies needed to drive the future of global agricultural and food security. The importance of GFIA cannot be underestimated in generating meaningful debate, actions and partnerships and opportunities to address Food Security for the UAE, regionally, and globally, and build strong partnerships between the public and private sectors that contribute to achieving sustainable development in the food and agriculture sectors. The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, are committed to supporting all efforts and projects that contribute to the development of food industries and the sustainability of agriculture."
"GFIA is particularly important for its valuable events and discussions, in addition to its sessions about innovation for food security which are organized by the Authority as a platform for an extended series of meetings and debates aimed at enhancing the food security system and providing knowledge for academic institutions and scientific research centers about the most important scientific and research developments in the field of environment, agriculture and food security. It is also important to add that the Forum will address enhancing the efficiency of production and post-harvest operations, while ensuring the conservation of natural resources and the environment. This will eventually create a viable investment environment for agricultural and food industries in the UAE to serve the region at large", he added.
His Excellency Khalifa Ahmed Al Ali - Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Security Center added: "The Innovation for Food Security sessions will bring together leading public and private sector leaders and experts in food security and agricultural sustainability policies to analyze the performance of local food production sector and come up with a practical roadmap to accelerate growth in the sector. Outcomes of these sessions will help develop food security policies and strategies to support this sector. The innovative sessions will discuss areas of poultry farming and livestock production, aquaculture, dairy production, in addition to vegetables and fruits production."
GFIA this year also includes the region's First International Conference of Arab Beekeeping Organization, which is attended by some of the most prominent bee scientists in the world. Prof. Dr. Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Khazem Al-Ghamdi- Chairman of Arab Beekeeping Organization added: "We are pleased to inaugurate the first formal beekeeping organization under the umbrella of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development and in cooperation with the International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations, to develop the bee industry in the Arab world. Membership of the Organization is open to all interested academics, beekeepers, and any beekeeping-related entity."
Thamer Al Qasemi, Chairman of the GFIA 2018 Organizing Committee at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority concluded by adding: "GFIA Abu Dhabi has received major recognition for its commitment to challenging the way food is produced since its launch in 2014 and now has the backing of 50 globally significant partners and the attendance of ministers of agriculture committed to using GFIA as a catalyst for change. GFIA is based on the notion that the ongoing drive for innovation in the agriculture sector is the only way to feed 9 billion people sustainably by 2050 and this year's edition will once again showcase the Emirate's leading status as a top destination for high-caliber international exhibitions and events in this vital domain."
Al Qasemi stressed that the Forum seeks to find effective solutions to the most pressing issues facing the agricultural sector, and provides an ideal platform for sharing experiences, skills and ideas among a group of leading experts, farmers and local and international food producers. The Forum also highlights the latest technologies in the production of foods of all kinds, to ensure future food security. He added that the Forum has seen growth in the number of participants, exhibitors and innovations, through building new partnerships and the VIV MEA exhibition. It is expected to see the participation of around 600 exhibitors compared to only 290 exhibitors last year, which means a remarkable growth of 107%. It will also showcase over 40 unique innovations representing a range of innovative and sustainable solutions in agriculture and food.
Hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), GFIA is organized in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and sponsored by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs. The exhibition and free conference programme opens on Monday in conjunction with the inauguration of the UAE Innovation Month, and will present hundreds of innovations and technologies which enhance productivity, reduce operational costs and optimise the use of environmental resources, to regional food producers across six key areas: indoor farming and hydroponics; date palm production; aquatech; livestock and animal health; smart honey production; and sustainable crops.
Over 600 companies from over 100 countries will present their products and projects promoting sustainable food production to more than 15,000 visitors who are expected to attend a trio of agtech events: GFIA, International Conference of Arab Beekeeping Organization and the second VIV MEA 2018 Abu Dhabi.
GFIA is sponsored by the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs, and supported by National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing LLC, AgUnity, GODAN – Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Madar Farms, Emirates Future and the Food Security Center- Abu Dhabi.