Sunday, March 29, 2009

Middle East’s biggest agribusiness trade event opens today

AGRA Middle East 2009

Agriculture boost cannot ignore environment impact

Middle East’s biggest agribusiness trade event opens today

Farmers and agri-professionals should not boost agricultural and livestock production at the expense of long-term environmental impacts, say the organisers of the region’s biggest agribusiness trade event which opens today (Monday 30 March 2009).

“Farmers today just cannot increase output without taking into account the negative impact of such growth in areas with fragile or vulnerable soils, sloping land and limited water resources,” said Goutam Malhotra, IIR Exhibition Manager of AGRA Middle East which takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre until 1 April 2009.

“With the population of North Africa and Middle East expected to exceed 300 million within two decades, agricultural professionals are being urged to maximise output or compete with other countries for global resources – but not at the expense of the environment.

“That’s why it’s so important to keep up- to-date with agricultural trends at events such as AGRAme. Much of the equipment and many of the solutions on display and the subjects of the seminar programme are geared to addressing these key issues.

“For example, while Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are said to be already drawing volumes of water that exceed their annual recharge, water resources are likely to become an acute problem in many places. Therefore, finding out what is available to minimise water use, yet maximise production, has become vital.”

For example, the latest technology on show at AGRAme can produce up to 700 kilos of high quality livestock cattle fodder per day from a 12 metre purpose-built container. Ordinarily it would take 20 hectares of fertile land to produce the same amount of cattle feed.

New farming technologies and products will also be outlined in a series of free seminars at AGRAme. The seminar sessions address the concerns of the region’s agribusiness and will be given by international CEOs, managing directors and technologists. Topics include opportunities in the Gulf for recirculation fishing farming; offshore fish farming; aqua feed of the future; optimal performance poultry feed; poultry house ventilation; mastering harsh climate farming; and saving water energy.

This year’s exhibition is being complemented by Vet Middle East focusing on veterinary products and services. VETme 2009 is the first of its kind in the region bringing together regional veterinary practitioners and public health officials with manufacturers and suppliers of products and services from pharmaceuticals to food supplements as well as the latest technological advances in veterinary healthcare.

“This event will not only be of interest to the agribusiness professionals keen to protect their livestock but will also be of interest to the region’s horse, camel, and falconry breeders and enthusiasts as well as veterinary professional,” said Malhotra.

The Vet Middle East 2009 Conference features a series of comprehensive multi-tracked seminars and workshops addressing current regional industry issues relating to the cattle, equestrian and falconry sectors. It will also highlight the region’s pioneering role in animal molecular biology, genetics and stem cell therapy.

Among other topics at VETme are recent developments in protection against foot and mouth; diagnosis for livestock diseases; radiation therapy; new antibiotics and drugs; animal import and export regulations and controls; with sessions on large animals such as horses and camels and small animals such birds and cats.

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