Mariam Almheiri visits UAE Pavilion at Floriade Expo 2022 in Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, This week, the UAE Pavilion at Floriade Expo 2022 welcomed Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, and a delegation of UAE agri-tech innovators and business leaders during a visit to the Netherlands.

During Almheiri’s visit to the UAE Pavilion at Floriade Expo 2022, a global horticulture exhibition that takes place in the Netherlands once every ten years, she commented, “

“Today we are in the Netherlands as part of the UAE’s delegation, which includes farmers, private sector entities, local authorities and the youth. The reason we are here at the Floriade Expo 2022 is, firstly, to visit the UAE pavilion and explore advanced agricultural technologies. The event showcases a wide range of innovative agricultural solutions,” said Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, during her visit to the UAE pavilion.

She then thanked Jamal Al Musharakh, UAE Ambassador to the Netherlands and Commissioner-General of the UAE Pavilion, a team from the Ministry of Culture and Youth, the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and the National Projects Office for contributing to the UAE pavilion, which explains how the Founding Fathers managed the desert environment by adopting sustainable practices that effectively utilised natural resources.

The UAE pavilion also presented local knowledge in cultivating halophytes, such as salicornia, quinoa, mangrove, microalgae and seaweed.

Almheiri expressed her pride in the work of the UAE pavilion, thanked the event’s organisers and invited everyone to visit the expo, which will end in October 2022.

The UAE pavilion hosted a discussion session on agricultural innovations and green cities amidst water scarcity and heat.

As part of the delegation visit, the UAE Pavilion also hosted a dialogue on “Agri-Innovations in Our Ecotone” to explore what it means to “grow green cities” in a challenging landscape where water scarcity, scorching heat and saline soil make typical horticulture almost impossible.

The gathering convened agri-tech innovators from the UAE – Sheikh Dr. Majid al Qassimi, Founder Partner of Soma Matar; Dr. Tarifa al Zaabi, Acting Director-General of the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA); and, Yazen al Kodmani, General Manager of Emirates Bio Farm- who are leading the way on research on halophytes, regenerative agriculture and the implementation of adaptable agriculture systems to contribute to the circular economy.

The speakers reflected on the delegation’s visit to the Netherlands and the long history of sharing agri-tech knowledge and co-creation between Dutch and UAE entities, noting the tremendous value of global collaboration to continue to innovate and seek new solutions to sustainability challenges that unite the world.

Stressing the need for increased educational efforts and community engagement, Dr. Al Zaabi noted that “if we want to accelerate food security, we need to accelerate collaboration – meaning a commitment to engaging farmers and communities across marginal environments where it is difficult to grow because of environmental conditions. We need to think globally and act locally.”

Dr. Al Qassimi echoed the importance of collaboration, “There is no one technology that will make food security happen. It is the result of the right combination of collaborative systems, from open field farming to managing crops and water in innovate ways and sharing knowledge globally.”

Looking at advancing the connection between communities and food security in the UAE, Yazen al Kodmani of Emirates Bio Farm commented, “We have to learn from ourselves in the UAE because we are pioneers for growing in our arid environment and heat. I would like to see more collaborations and cooperatives in the agriculture space in the UAE to allow the community to understand more, encourage connections across the industry and more collective work on food security.

The conversation, moderated by Dax Denneboom, the CEO and Founder of Favory, a Dutch-based vertical farming entity, was hosted at Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere, where the UAE is presenting an exhibition entitled “Salt Water Cities: where land meets sea,” to demonstrate how the country embraces its ecotone and harsh environment to seek innovative answers to promote food and water security, preserve marine biodiversity and co-create solutions to global challenges.

The delegation visit focused on exchanging knowledge and best practices in agricultural sectors to encourage greater food security, and included participation at GreenTech Amsterdam 2022, a global convening for horticulture professionals and innovators, and deeper engagement with agri-tech leaders with Dutch counterparts.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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