Thursday, February 13, 2014

Abu Dhabi: IRRI takes part in global forum for agriculture

The latest innovations and solutions for sustainable agriculture were showcased at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) held last week in Abu Dhabi.

The forum had the theme, Driving innovation for an agricultural revolution, and was attended by around 1,000 scientists, innovators, investors, suppliers, and policymakers from all over the world, sharing ideas and planning ways to work with one another.

Featured during the event was research on stress-tolerant rice varieties, particularly on flood-tolerant rice, a presentation on which was prepared by Abdelbagi Ismail, IRRI principal scientist and leader of the Stress-Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) project. The presentation was delivered by Rona NiƱa Rojas-Azucena, IRRI communication specialist, on Dr. Ismail’s behalf.

IRRI also showcased its other key products and programs through an exhibit as part of the CGIAR Consortium.

Keynote speakers were Frank Rijsberman, CGIAR CEO; Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Mark Post, the scientist behind the Google-funded lab burger; and Andras Forgacs, pioneer in cultured meat and leather.

“History shows us that the most effective route to keeping global food prices low is to massively increase investment in agricultural innovations,” said Dr. Rijsbermann in his speech, adding that the Arabian Gulf countries should redirect their focus toward agricultural innovations to strengthen food security.

In his video address, Bill Gates, whose foundation supports the STRASA project, said that investments in agriculture are the best weapons against hunger and poverty in a world where most of the poorest are farmers. “In short, if you care about the poorest, you care about agriculture,” said Mr. Gates.

The conference was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, deputy prime minister of the UAE and minister of presidential affairs. Rashid bin Fahad, the minister of environment and water, announced on behalf of Sheikh Mansour the launch of the Sheikh Zayed Prize for Pioneering Innovation in Agriculture.

The forum was held on 3-5 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Learn more about IRRI ( or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

No comments:

Post a Comment