Impact Investor and Advocate of Sustainable Agriculture Details Efforts to Improve Sustainable Farming Practices Across the United Arab Emirates

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Philippe van den Bossche, an impact investor and advocate of sustainable agriculture, discusses the efforts to improve sustainable farming practices in order to reverse damage caused by climate change in the United Arab Emirates.

On August 30, Philippe van den Bossche, an impact investor and advocate of sustainable agriculture, discusses the efforts by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to educate farmers on how to improve their sustainable agricultural practices in order to reverse damage caused by climate change.

According to an August 22, 2013 article published by The National, entitled, “Sustainable farming ideas spread across UAE,” a Dubai agriculture center is “increasing its reach in improving farming practices across the region to reverse damage caused by climate change.” Since its launch two years ago, the Dh22 million project, by the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, has taught 750 farmers from eight different Middle East countries and has plans to educate another 750 within a year’s time.

Dr. Abdullah Dakheel, who is head of the project, says, “The objective is to spread into more farming communities in terms of number, quality and intensity on the farm. We want to have more activities done with farmers.”

The project, which involves the UAE, Oman, Yemen, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Tunisia, “seeks to help farmers make their land more resilient to changing environmental conditions.”

Dr. Dakheel says farmers need to know how to obtain the right seeds, because “any look into adaption of agricultural systems and changing environments means we have to find better-adapted genetic material.”

In order to help the farmers, researchers have identified crops and seeds that could survive and continue to grow in a desert climate which would therefore improve the quality of the land and of the food being produced.

Philippe van den Bossche, an impact investor and advocate of sustainable agriculture, says this large-scale initiative is vital to bettering existing farming practices in the Middle East. “In many cases, farmers don’t have the resources to improve their practices, leaving them to make due with limited knowledge and means. The region’s efforts to better inform farmers will allow regional farming industry to thrive despite the arid environment.”

Philippe van den Bossche is an impact entrepreneur and investor and Chairman/ Owner of Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA), a leading organic agricultural and horticultural consulting and manufacturing company located in Middlefield, Ohio. AEA provides consulting services and specialty nutritional products to farms throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. van den Bossche is an advocate for organic farming and agriculture.

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