Abu Dhabi has begun an agricultural genome program to address the United Arab Emirates’ food security challenges. Ensuring there is enough food to feed a growing global population is a major concern for governments around the world. In the arid Gulf states, food security poses its own set of unique challenges. The search is on for solutions from vertical farming to technology that turns saltwater into water fit for agriculture.
The new program aims to develop local breeds of plant, animal, and fish farming, ensure improved agricultural production and meet the challenges of the emirate’s climatic and environmental conditions. It also aims to establish a gene bank to conserve local plant, animal, and fish genetic resources and establish 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.
Under the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, the new 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.