The United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based International Center for Biohaline Agriculture (ICBA) is committed to developing agricultural solutions in areas facing biophysical and socioeconomic constraints around the world. is.
With an international reach, ICBA operates in more than 40 countries considered “surroundings”. These countries may face challenges such as low soil fertility, water scarcity, rugged terrain, difficult access to markets and limited land tenure. Through the use of high and low technology, responsible management of natural resources, educational activities and capacity building, ICBA supports local food production in these regions.
To advance this work, ICBA is conducting research on resilient crops. “When we talk about resilient crops, we are talking about salinity, drought and heat tolerant crops,” Alzaabi tells his Food Tank. Examples include quinoa, amaranth, and millet. They are also investing in research into halophytes, or salt-tolerant crops, that can grow in soils with high levels of salinity without using fresh water.
These solutions will become increasingly important as the climate crisis progresses. “It’s a projection, looking at how much that climate change impact will affect us, looking at crop production, rising temperatures, and all these changes that we’re witnessing. [The climate crisis] moving fast. ”
But promoting these crops also requires consumer education. Eaters “will need some kind of new technology to adapt to new foods and new systems … food is personal,” Alzabi says. We are also working to bridge the gap between people in These activities involve farmers, chefs and consumers as ICBA works to raise awareness of these crops and help communities understand both their flavor profile and benefits.
“We are all responsible for the health of our next generation, because when we talk about food, we are also talking about nutritional value,” Alzahbi tells Food Tank. future. “
Hear the full conversation with Tarifa Al-Zahabi in “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg” about ICBA’s approach to promoting climate-resilient crops, ICBA’s approach to ensuring solutions that meet farmers’ needs. Hear more about the approach, and the organization’s youth engagement initiatives that strive to help future generations.
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Photo credit: Raju Jangid, Wikimedia Commons