The UAE will help in the combat against land degradation in Karakalpakstan and the development of sustainable agricultural systems
02. 2024

On February 21, Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change Aziz Abdukhakimov met with the Director General of the UAE International Center for Bio-Saline Agriculture (ICBA), etc., Tarif Al Zaabi.

Aziz Abdukhakimov noted the prospects for long-term cooperation with ICBA and spoke about the creation of a climate center under the Ministry.

"We are pleased to observe the growing cooperation with the International Innovation Center of the Aral Sea Region (IICAS) under the Ministry of Ecology, focusing on the problems of land degradation and building the capacity of farmers in Karakalpakstan. One of the key problems in Karakalpakstan is land degradation and climate change, and the Aral Sea crisis has only increased this threat", said the minister.

During the meeting, the parties discussed the details of the joint project of the Abu Dhabi Development Fund and ICBA, "Development of sustainable agricultural production systems in the degraded territories of Karakalpakstan", aimed at reducing the vulnerability of farmers in Karakalpakstan and improving their adaptive potential to prevent economic losses associated with land degradation.

The Uzbek side proposed to focus attention within the framework of the project on the creation of the GEN bank, conducting scientific research on the breeding of drought- and waterproof types of crops, conducting training for local staff of the MICAI, and equipping laboratories with modern equipment and technologies for soil research.

For information: This project, worth more than 1.09 million US dollars, is a step towards mitigating the consequences of the Aral Sea disaster and promoting sustainable agriculture in the region. As a result of its implementation, it is expected to increase agricultural productivity in Karakalpakstan through the introduction of climate-resistant, bio-saline, and integrated modular farming systems, an increase of 5 thousand farmers, and dehkan farms through the development of value chains in agribusiness, the creation of climate-resilient crops, training in best management practices and integrated production models to meet the needs of farmers, and the creation of field farming schools.

During the meeting, the parties discussed the recent UN global events, COP28 in Dubai and COP14 in Samarkand. The Minister also invited the ICBA CEO to take part in the first Samarkand Climate Forum in April this year.

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