Crop Biotech Update

Agricultural Genome Program to Enhance Abu Dhabi’s Food Security Capability

June 9, 2022

Abu Dhabi's Agricultural Genome Program aims to use genetic studies to provide innovative solutions to future food security challenges as part of its food abundance plan initiative. The program will also help establish a scientific base center and train promising researchers in the field of genome research and its applications.

This is the first of its kind in the Abu Dhabi emirate. According to a government news release dated June 1, 2022, the program was launched by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) and its partner research centers to take the opportunity of applying the best international practices in the field of agricultural genetic research. Among its primary thrusts are improving the agricultural sector by developing animal breeds and plant varieties with enhanced favorable traits to increase their economic value to help improve the emirate's gross domestic product.

The program is a key pillar of ADAFSA's Strategic Plan for 2022-2025. Through the plan, Abu Dhabi will:

  • Develop local breeds of plant, animal, and fish farming to improve agricultural production and meet the challenges of the emirate's climatic and environmental conditions;
  • Establish a gene bank to conserve local plant, animal, and fish genetic resources;
  • Establish a database for the emirate's endemic genetic strains and produce samples for future research;
  • Build capacities of their researchers and research institutions to promote the conservation and registration of local plant and animal breeds;
  • Apply international best practices in genetic sequencing;
  • Promote the study of virtual and genetic traits of plants and animals; and
  • Help identify genetic evidence of the desired animal traits and boost their plant genetic resources.

Abu Dhabi recognizes the use of genomic techniques in improving agricultural production while conserving natural resources through the development of better plant varieties with increased resistance to drought and salinity to produce high quality crops that are vital to food security.

Read the news release from the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office to know more.

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