Alkesh Sharma / Emirates Business
How to increase the global food production by 70 percent to feed over 9 billion people by 2050; which mechanisms would be the best to profitably restore land globally; how to tackle the current water scarcity issue in various countries; and how to bring all economies on a common platform to ensure food security for each individual — these were some of the thought-provoking issues brought to the fore in the third edition of the Global Forum of Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) that was opened in the Emirates capital on Tuesday.
“Employing over one billion people and generating more than $1.25 trillion worth of food annually, agriculture is apparently the world’s biggest industry. So this is one area that can’t be ignored. I have flown all the way from Florida to Abu Dhabi to be a part of this high-profile event. I am looking forward to strike some really exciting business deals with other stakeholders during this event,” Evan Donald, one of the participants, who specialises in organic food, told Emirates Business.
Presently, pastures and croplands occupy nearly 50 percent of the earth’s habitable surface and offer resources to a variety of species. This evidently calls for a need to intelligently restore land and GFIA saw a dedication session for it and also many pledges were made in this pursuit during the event.
“We have to expedite the process of ecological restoration of lands that provide natural landscape and safe habitat for various communities. US, UAE and many African countries are doing exemplary work in this direction and we have to soon replicate the similar model in other parts of the world also,” said Mohammad Maqbool a food scientist from Kenya.
His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, had officially opened the two-day GFIA here at Abu Dhabi National exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on Tuesday.
This much anticipated two-day event, which has attracted thousands of participants from around the world, acts as an international platform for a debate over global food security and water scarcity – two major issues the world faces today.
“All indications in the run up to the show were pointing towards an incredibly busy opening day and the turnout from international participants has now made it the biggest agricultural show in the world,” said Ali Yousef Al Saad, Acting Director of Communication and Community Service at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA).
“There are scientists from more than 80 countries willing to share their expertise and collaborate with governments and businesses for the better future of our planet,” added Al Saad.