ICARDA works across the Arabian Peninsula to strengthen the transfer of new technologies and improve the productivity and sustainability of date production and rangeland and irrigated systems, through the more efficient use of natural resources – water, land and indigenous plant species.
One of the Center’s key regional partners is Oman, which collaborates on a number of strategic initiatives, including: date palm production, climate change mitigation, and liquid pollination. With these projects in mind, the Sultanate recently hosted an ICARDA delegation to discuss on-going activities, ICARDA’s decentralization strategy, and potential areas of future collaboration.
Held in Muscat, the visit included a meeting with H. E. Dr. Fuad bin Jaafar, Oman’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, who welcomed recent successes, expressed full support to ICARDA activities, and demonstrated interest in pursuing Oman’s strategic partnership with ICARDA.
In his briefing on recent activities at ICARDA, Dr. Kamel Shideed, Assistant Director General for International Cooperation, related the following: the various activities of the thematic research locations being rolled out through ICARDA’s decentralization; the on-going development of the Center’s 10-year strategy; the safe duplication of ICARDA’s genebank in Syria – which recently resulted in the Center being awarded the Gregor Mendel Innovation Prize; and recent collaborations with two of the biggest donors operating in the region – the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Also discussed was Oman’s potential involvement in the Global Dry Land Alliance (GDA), a collaboration of 50 nations which seeks to combat food insecurity, implement solutions for strengthening food security, and providing mutual support in times of need.