The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030.

By working with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the AgraME exhibition and conference will bring together the global Agriculture community to help achieve the SDG's in the Middle East. From finding the latest technology, learning best practice, sharing ideas and creating new Government to Government and Business to Business connections, AgraME aims to increase Food Security across the MEA region. 

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General, ICBA
  • Mark Tester, Executive Director of the Food Sector, NEOM
  • Dr. Rohana Subasinghe, President, Asia-Pacific Chapter, World Aquaculture Society
  • Ming Zhu, Regional Business Developer, Crop One
  • Dawood Al-Yahyai, Aquaculture Expert, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Oman
  • David Farquhar, CEO, Intelligent Growth Solutions
  • Alexander Sabirov, CEO, Vegberry
  • Elena Kinane, Founder, Greenheart Farm
  • Dr. Hemant Julka, Co-Founder and COO, VeggiTech
  • Priv. Doz. Dr. Habil. U. Wernery, Scientific Director, CVRL
  • Dr. Federica Matteoli, Natural Resource Officer, FAO
  • Dr. Victoria Alday-Sanz, Director of Biosecurity and Breeding Programmes, NAQUA
  • Dr. Nawal Noureldaim Abuelhassan, Department of Animal Genetic Resources, Animal Resources Research Corporation (ARRC), Sudan
  • Christine Zimmermann-Lössl, Chairwoman, Vertical Farming Association
  • Dr. Mohamed Elfatih Hamad, Associate Professor, Chair, Veterinary Medicine Department, UAEU
  • Dr. Elke Neumann, Associate Professor, Integrative Agriculture (CFA), UAEA
  • Michele Gallo, Aquaculture and RAS Engineer, AquaBioTech Group
  • Dr. Steven Cools, Product Manager and Veterinarian, Nukamel
  • Olav Scholte, Strategic Alliances and Public & Government Affairs, Signify Middle East
  • Atle Idland, General Manager and Managing Director, Desert Control Middle East
  • Bram Romijn, Aquaculture Specialist, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Dr. Nawal N. Omer, Department of Genetic Resources, Ministry of Animal Resources, Sudan
  • Kim David Lid, Managing Director, Sterner BioTek
  • Dr. Morten Rye, Director of Genetics, Benchmark Genetics
  • Francisco Murillo, VP Business Development, Innovasea
  • Bader bin Mubarak, CEO, Fish Farm

 

OPENING

11:30 - 12:00

Keynote

H.E. Sultan Abdulla AlHebsi, Assistant Undersecretary of Regions Sector, UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment


12:00 - 12:30

Keynote: New Crops; New Food Systems

Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General, ICBA – International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture 


12.30 - 13.30

Break


 

AGRATECH

 

13.30 - 13.40

Chair’s welcome

Christine Zimmermann-Lössl, Chairwoman, Vertical Farming Association


13.40 - 14:00

Keynote: Today’s agriculture is unsustainable: how can we lead the transformation?

  • A picture of agricultural unsustainability, globally and in the ME region
  • The most promising innovations in Agratech that will enable the change
  • Examples of innovation, including NEOM and Red Sea Farms

Mark Tester, Professor of Plant Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Executive Director of the Food Sector at NEOM and co-Founder of Red Sea Farms LLC


14.00 - 14.30

Setting up and operating vertical farms in the Middle East

  • Lessons learned from the vertical farming industry: what not to do
  • Reducing the IT burden with cloud-based systems
  • Tackling the thorny challenge of ventilation
  • Three ways to reduce your power and water consumption on a vertical farm

David Farquhar, CEO, Intelligent Growth Solutions


14.30 - 15.00

Break


15.00 - 15.20

Innovation in agro technology: precision farming and controlled environment agriculture in the Middle East and Africa

  • Focus on Food Security in UAE and the region
  • Sustainable farming methods to address the challenges of soil, water and temperature
  • Experiences from recent projects and what we have learned from them

Hemant Julka, Co-founder and COO, VeggiTech 


15.20 - 15:50

Case study: The world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai: taking food production efficiency to the next level

  • New sensors, IoT and automation technologies and how they will affect production efficiency
  • Digital technologies employed along the supply chain to maintain freshness in the hot climate
  • Which crops have performed well in the vertical farm environment and which have been abandoned?
  • Lessons learnt from the first months of operation

Ming Zhu, Regional Business Developer, Crop One


15.50 - 16:10

Innovations for combating water scarcity and food security in the Middle East

  • Water scarcity in the Middle East and what it means for food security
  • Implementing the Liquid Nano Clay in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi: aims, methods and data
  • The future role of new innovations in reducing agricultural water consumption

Atle Idland, General Manager and Managing Director, Desert Control Middle East


16:10

Close of Day One

 

AQUACULTURE

 

10.30 - 10.40

Chair's welcome

Dawood Al-Yahyai, Aquaculture Expert, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Oman


10.40 - 11.20

Keynote: The future of aquaculture: nourishing the world in 2050

  • The current scenario we face in Aquaculture, both globally and in the MEA region
  • Forecasts and models indicating the quantities of fish that will be required in 2030 and 2050
  • Opportunities for bridging the global fish supply-demand gap through inclusive aquaculture growth

Dr. Rohana Subasinghe, President, Asia-Pacific Chapter, World Aquaculture Society


11.20 - 11.40

Break


11.40 - 12.00

Oman’s aquaculture programme: the current situation and future vision

  • The current situation in Oman’s Aquaculture industry: the rules, regulations, private investment and funding support from the Ministry
  • What has already been achieved in Oman’s Aquaculture industry?
  • Oman’s Aquaculture Vision 2040 and what it will mean for the industry

Dawood Al-Yahyai, Aquaculture Expert, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Oman


12.00 - 13.00

Panel: Planning for 2050: aquaculture’s role in providing regional food security, quality and safety

  • The benefits and risks of new strategies for maintaining fish health: fishmeal replacement, vaccines, medicated feed additives and microbiome technologies
  • The impact of tightening environmental regulations on the global aquaculture industry
  • What changes do we need to make as an industry and what are the time frames we need to aim for?
  • Sustaining a profitable aquaculture business in the face of technical, environmental and economic challenges

Panellists include:

  • Dawood Al-Yahyai, Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Oman
  • Dr. Rohana Subasinghe, President, Asia-Pacific Chapter, World Aquaculture Society

13.00 -14.00

Break


14.00 - 14.20

Leveraging a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) for commercial food security in hostile environments

  • RAS in hostile environments: how it works and the impact on reliability of supply
  • Practical considerations for the establishment of an RAS facility: location selection, infrastructure requirements and species selection
  • Operating an RAS facility: the necessary skills, best practice and the provision of remote management and supervision
  • Output improvement strategies including regular harvests and improving broodstock and taste
  • Commercial considerations such as scale, hybrid solutions and risks 

Kim David Lid, Director, Sterner AS


14.20 -14.40

National and enterprise level biosecurity, from reaction to proactive management: the case of Saudi Arabia

  • NAQUA’s and KSA biosecurity strategy and how it has developed over time
  • Genetic and epigenetic approaches to shrimp breeding for disease control

Dr. Victoria Alday-Sanz, Director of Biosecurity and Breeding Programmes, National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA)


14.40 - 15.10

Break


15.10 - 15.30

Advances in applied genetics in marine shrimp and implications for sustainable production

Dr. Morten Rye, Director of Genetics, Benchmark Genetics


15.30 - 15.50

New lighting technologies for improving the productivity of aquaculture farms

  • Our research into the effects of artificial lighting on the growth rates of fish
  • Some examples of the results of studies on salmon, tilapia and sea bream
  • How the technology works and applications in the Aquaculture industry

Olav Scholte, Strategic Alliances and Public and Government Affairs, Signify Middle East


15.50 - 16.30

Panel: Using new technology to increase the fish supply in the Middle East and Africa

  • Employing digital technologies to prevent disease in fish farms
  • Which technologies are the most promising for improving productivity?
  • New technology developments on the horizon that will impact the Aquaculture industry’s future success

Panellists include: 

  • Francisco Murillo, VP Business Development, Innovasea 
  • Michele Gallo, Aquaculture and RAS Engineer, AquaBioTech Group
  • Olav Scholte, Strategic Alliances and Public & Government Affairs, Signify Middle East

16.30

Close of Aquaculture Conference

 

ANIMAL FARMING & VETERINARY

 

10.30 - 10.40

Chair's Welcome

Dr. Mohamed Elfatih Hamad, Associate Professor, Chair, Veterinary Medicine Department, UAEU 


10.40 - 11.10

Keynote: Biosecurity in UAE farms: an update on best practices

Dr. Roula Hassan Shaaban, Chairperson of Board of Directors, Emirates Veterinary Association 


11.10 - 11.30

The complementary role of exogenous nutritional emulsifiers to exogenous enzymes in a broiler diet: in vitro and in vivo evidence

  • Aim: quantification (in vitro and in vivo) of the supplementary effect of a nutritional emulsifier supplemented in a wheat-corn-soy bean meal-based reference diet, containing exogenous enzymes (phytase and xylanase)
  • Broiler’s digestive physiology of fat digestion was mimicked by the dynamic in vitro Calimero-model, while extrapolation to ‘the field’ was done in a classical in vivo feeding trial
  • The Calimero-model provides fatty acid (FA)-specific cumulative absorption profiles and FA-specific effects of a  nutritional emulsifier, while the in vivo trial gives us an impression of the effect ‘in practice’ of this additive
  • Conclusions and practical implications of this type of additives will be quantified in the context of more sustainable feeding of broilers

Dr. Steven Cools, Product Manager and Veterinarian, Nukamel


11.30 - 12.00

Break


12.00 - 12.40

The present situation of MERS-CoV in the Middle East

  • MERS suddenly appeared in 2012 on the Arabian Peninsula and so far more than 2200 laboratory confirmed human cases have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 35%.
  • MERS is caused by a coronavirus named MERS-CoV and belongs to lineage C of the RNA Beta coronavirus
  • MERS-CoV has circulated in dromedaries for decades, but only recently spilled over into humans in 2012, for unknown reasons
  • Transmission from dromedaries to humans is rare, and is thought only to occur through very close contact
  • Human-human transmission can occur, but better understanding of the disease and improved infection control procedures have reduced infection rates in hospitals
  • No vaccine for camels is currently available

Priv. Doz. Dr. Habil. U. Wernery, Scientific Director, CVRL


12.40

Break

 

CROP FARMING

 

14.10 - 14.20

Chair’s welcome

Dr. Elke Neumann, Associate Professor, Integrative Agriculture, UAEA

14.20 - 14.45

Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) project results from Ecuador and Botswana

  • A general description of CSA
  • The adaptation of traditional cocoa farming in Ecuador: methods, challenges and initial results
  • Botswana project: initial results in the improvement of agricultural productivity and climate mitigation
  • Monitoring and evaluation tools developed by FAO for CSA projects

Federica Matteoli, Natural Resource Officer, FAO


14:45 - 15.10

Key knowledge gained from the ground breaking Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) project

  • The challenges of creating a world first facility producing food and fuel on desert lands irrigated by seawater
  • What we have learnt about the optimal agronomic practices and growing season of the Salicornia bigelovii plant in the UAE
  • The recent structural upgrades to improve performance and the health of the plants and fish
  • Scaling up the pilot project to a 200-hectare facility in readiness for commercialisation

Dr. Alejandro Rios Galvan, Director, Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, Khalifa University


15.10 - 15.30

Break


15.30 - 16.00

Panel: Which crops will become mainstream in Middle Eastern Agriculture by 2030? 

  • The markers for success in today’s crop farming environment
  • Which crops have the greatest potential for sustainable growth in desert conditions?
  • What are the regional demand trends and how will this shape the future of our agriculture?
  • Farming techniques and technologies that will influence crop viability in the coming decade
  • The growing role of organic farming in Middle Eastern agriculture and how this may affect crop diversity
  • Which produce is bankable from a financier’s perspective? What are the risks of investing in a crop farm in the Middle East? 

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Alejandro Rios Galvan, Director, Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, Khalifa University
  • Alexander Sabirov, CEO, Vegberry
  • Elena Kinane, Founder, Greenheart Organic Farms
  • Dr. Elke Neumann, Associate Professor, Integrative Agriculture (CFA), UAEA

16.00

Close of the 2020 conference