Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Agriculture and Food Safety, the ADAFSA launched the Abu Dhabi Agricultural Genome Program in cooperation with some national research centers in the UAE, in order to apply the best international practices in the field of agricultural genetic research, where this program is considered the first of its kind in the region, which enhances Abu Dhabi’s position at the regional and international levels and makes it a scientific reference in the field of agricultural genomes in addition to the UAE’s achievement of the requirements of the Plant Genetic Resources Convention for Food and Agriculture.
Abu Dhabi’s Agricultural Genome Program is part of Abu Dhabi’s ambitious food abundance plan initiatives, where genetic studies are an important step towards providing innovative solutions to future food security challenges, enhancing the food security system of the Emirate and the country, and will contribute to improving sustainable agricultural production by improving animal breeds and plant varieties and giving them genetic traits of economic value to promote the agricultural sector , enhance food security, and increase its contribution to the emirate’s GDP.
The program is a key pillar of the initiatives and programs of the Strategic Plan of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority 2022-2025, and aims to develop local breeds of plant, animal and fish farming, ensuring improved agricultural production and meeting the challenges of the emirate’s climatic and environmental conditions, establishing a gene bank to conserve local plant, animal and fish genetic resources, and establishing a database for its genetic strains, and more potential samples when needed in the future, the program will also develop local capacities to promote the conservation and registration of local plant and animal breeds internationally, genetic sequencing processes, the study of virtual and genetic traits of plants and animals, and the identification of genetic evidence of the desired characteristics of animal and plant genetic resources.
H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, confirmed that Abu Dhabi Agricultural Genome Program is one of the leading projects to anticipate the future of the agriculture sector in its plant, animal and fish farming, and to qualify it to enter a new phase of development based on the use of genetic information to improve animal breeds and plant varieties and strengthen the prevention programs of diseases Epidemic and agricultural pests to high quality agricultural, animal and fish products and in quantities that meet the food security aspirations of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, stressing that the agricultural genome program embodies the vision and commitment of the rational leadership that oversees the UAE Genome Program Council to strengthen the UAE’s position as a center for research and innovation in genomics.
The program receives great attention and support from His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Agriculture and Food Safety, due to the great benefits it will bring to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, where it contributes to establishing a scientific base and qualifying a selection of qualified national cadres in the field of agricultural genome research and applications, His Excellency said.
In addition to its direct results in reducing the time required for improvement and genetic evaluation of animal breeds and plant varieties and ensuring the preservation of unique genetic resources for Abu Dhabi’s local varieties at the Gene Bank for genetic resources, ensuring that they are preserved for future generations and used in improvement programs, in addition to reducing the costs of caring for livestock and plant resources by electing disease-resistant varieties and breeds with high productive qualities and bearing the climatic and environmental conditions of a country, pointing out that the program will be a local and regional reference in the use of genomic techniques in improving agricultural production and rationalizing the consumption of natural resources by electing varieties that bear drought and salinity and Increase agricultural production, increase its quality and enhance food and vital security He added.
He also pointed out that the agricultural genome program is in line with Abu Dhabi’s aspiration plan, and is in line with the country’s orientation towards global leadership in food security and the strategic plan of the authority to develop a sector with sustainable development in the field of agriculture, food safety and biosecurity by providing innovative services, harnessing modern technology and guiding investment, explaining that ADAFSA is putting the top priority for the next phase to activate Strengthen partnerships that support scientific research and development to build and implement scientific and practical research methodologies and studies that support agricultural sustainability goals and leadership in food security.
Source: Abudhabi Government Media Office