The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) signed, a collaboration agreement with the Khalifa Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (KCGEB) to implement a detailed implementation plan for all phases of Abu Dhabi's Agricultural Genome Program. Launched by ADAFSA in collaboration with some national research centers, the program, the first of its kind at the region, aims at applying the best international practices related to agricultural genetic research, which promotes Abu Dhabi's position in this field at the regional and international levels.
The agreement was signed by H.E. Dr. Maryam Hareb Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director General for Operational Affairs at ADAFSA, and Dr. Khalid Ahmed Amir, Director of KCGEB.
In this regard, H.E. Dr. Maryam Hareb Al Suwaidi, said: "The agreement aims to boost our collaboration with KCGEB by implementing the agriculture genome program. The program promotes sustainable agricultural production by improving plant and animal species, thus increasing the agricultural sector's contribution to Abu Dhabi's GDP.
Al Suwaidi emphasized that the genome program will help establish a scientific database for this field and qualify national specialists in genomics research. The program acts as a local and regional reference in the area of using genomic technologies to improve agricultural production and rationalize natural resource consumption.
From his side, Dr. Khalid Amiri, said the KCGEB has a great experience in applying genome technologies and providing unique solutions for sustainable agriculture development. He noted that genome program reflects ADAFSA's insightful vision to reach its objectives and localize scientific knowledge.
Amiri thanked ADAFSA for collaborating with KCGEB, expressing his confidence in reaching the agreement's desired goals. He added the center will use the latest technologies to decoding genomes of different organisms and reuse them in developing the agriculture.
The program is part of ADAFSA's Strategic Plan for 2022-2025. It aims to develop local spices of plant, animal and fish, to improve agricultural production and address the emirate's climatic and environmental challenges. The program also features establishing a gene bank and database to conserve local plant, animal and fish genetic resources.
In addition to building local capacities to conserve and register local plant, animal breeds internationally, the program will support genetic sequencing processes, the study of phenotypic and genetic traits of plants, animals, and the identification of genetic markers for the desired traits of animal and plant genetic resources.
ADAFSA is keen on strengthening partnerships with stakeholders to implement scientific and applied research methodologies and studies, thus contributing to achieving agricultural sustainability goals and global leadership in food security.