Arab Agricultural ministers, experts, academics and farmers participated in the three-day 1st Inter-regional Smart Agriculture Forum- ISAF 2018
, held in the period from 24th-26th September 2018 at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum. It is organized by the Arab Organization for Agriculture Development AOAD and the Arab Organization for Information and communication Technologies AICTO. The ISAF is organization in collaboration of Sudanese ministries of Agriculture and forests, Information and Communication and Information Technology.
The ISAF is also organized with distinctive national, regional and international partnerships. Agricultural ministers and experts addressed the forum shed light on their visions and views on the smart agriculture pointed to the initiative of the President Omer Hassan al Bashir for the Arab food security in the Arab Summit held in Riyadh 2015.
Engineer, Mohamed Ben Amor, Secretary General of the AICTO, explained that the ISAF has specific significance for agriculture. He added that agriculture is still facing many problems and challenges where 8 million persons suffer from the lack of foods beside the new challenge of climate change, lack of water for drinking and utilization. Lack of resources he appreciated Sudan initiative for Arab food security .He pointed to the efforts of the AOAD in smart agriculture and its supporting role to the SDGs, noted the strategy of Zero hunger in 2030. He stressed on the importance of knowledge, supporting scientific research.
Josee Graziano da Silva, Director General of FAO addressed the ISAF through Video. He conveyed his congratulation for organizing the ISAF. He expressed his great support to the smart agriculture. He noted to the importance of Arab cooperation, explaining the main objectives of the smart agriculture for the developing countries. He noted to united nations UN specialized organizations and agencies in the fields of smart agriculture. He indicated to some successful stories in South Africa. He called for collaboration in terms of using technologies.
Chesoup Lee, Director of the International Union for Communications IUC , addressed also the ISAF through video explaining that agriculture will increase with 60% in 2050 , so the need for food became big . He stressed on the impact of climate change as one of the challenges facing agriculture. Food system in general should transform, that we want to implement the SDGs 2030 agendas, said Chee soup Lee.
He added Climate smart Agriculture CSA is viewed as global approach for food security, and express the interlinking of food security and climate change , that agriculture sustainably increased productivity , and hence , resilient , remove greenhouses bases , and hence the natural food and crops . He pointed to that in the Middle East and North Africa regions 40% of countries preferring climate smart agriculture in cultivation were changed in compared with others in the region. He stressed on the urgent need for Climate smart agriculture that provide in solving lack of water, food , beside the collaboration among the stakeholders .
Amir Khider alBiati, Iraqi deputy minister of communication, head of the general assembly of AICTO, highlighted the importance of communication technologies, and the internet of things. He stressed on the challenges facing agriculture represented into the climate change as one of the main challenges facing human beings. Climate change is a global issue effect on the environment. He added that FAO launched an initiative title climate smart agriculture which helps farmers to use the developed technologies .He called for support of governments, exchange of knowledge experiences. He pointed to the role of AICTO as one of the main branches of the Arab League AL; that is working to engage scientific methodology of IT, by creating links among Arab Countries.
Engineer Tariq Hamza CEO of SUDATEL, chairperson of United Capital Group, shed light on the activity and role of SUDATEL as a partner, pointed to the importance of IT, Communication. He declared training of 100 farmers on the IT and communications and using the developed technologies of smart agriculture, besides taking one farm as a model to implement these technologies. He explained that the using of technology in agriculture will increase production with a 50%, and reduce cost of production with 70% according to FAO and the World Bank studies in 2017. He added that smart agriculture by using ICD will realize SDGs 2030.