United Arab Emirates and ICARDA. Highlight of 20 years of Collaboration and Achievements
Ouled Belgacem, Azaiez
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In 1988, ICARDA began a special program for the Arabian Peninsula (AP) countries called Arabian Peninsula Regional Program (APRP). The partnership with AP specially United Arab Emirates (UAE) became stronger in 1995, when ICARDA established its regional Office in Dubai, UAE which hosted by Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (previously known as Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) Since 1995, ICARDA carried out several projects in AP and UAE in close collaboration with National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems (NARES). Outputs of these collaborations are demonstrated by the useful technology packages developed by APRP in rangeland rehabilitation, irrigated forages, on-farm water management, and protected agriculture. ICARDA-APRP adopted and tested the developed technology packages at a number of pilot private farms. These packages have positive impacts on welfare of poor farmers in the region, and on management of natural resources, and the environment. The packages include: 1. Increasing adoption of high intensity techniques for more water use efficient production of high quality cash crops (soilless production system). 2. Increasing adoption of IPPM for high quality cash crops, reducing pesticide residue and hazardous chemical use. 3. Promoting an integrated production system for indigenous forage species with high water use efficiency for AP farmers. 4. Developing an integrated production system for spineless forage cactus. 5. Enhancing adoption of new forage and rangeland production systems by providing large quantities of seeds of suitable species. 6. Developing participatory technology for rangeland rehabilitation through water harvesting and re-seeding techniques. In UAE, these technology packages adopted by a good number of local growers. Only in 6 northern emirates (not including Abu Dhabi) number of soilless greenhouses and farms adopted Buffel grass has reported more than 1000 and 100 respectively by the Ministry officials.