Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani
There is an urgent need to develop secure strategies and alternatives to address the challenges of the agriculture sector in GCC countries and worldwide, stressed Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser al-Thani, director of Research and Agricultural Development department at the Ministry of Environment.

He was addressing a GCC workshop on “Agricultural and environmental biotechnology applications” organised jointly by the Ministry of Environment and Hassad Food Company.
He pointed out that GCC countries have a tough desert environment for agriculture such as high temperature, rarity of water resources and high salinity of the soil.  He also said that the agricultural sector has a limited part in the national income of GCC countries compared to other non-renewable resources. This makes the issue of food security and food imports a serious problem. Therefore, such workshops can be highly instrumental in addressing the issue practically.
The workshop which started yesterday will continue for a week, and will address related issues through the participation of  GCC countries such as Kuwait, KSA and Oman. Other participants include experts from Egypt, Cuba, Finland and USA.
The workshop would look into the challenges facing agricultural development in the GCC region, studying potential co-operation in building human and technical capabilities to enhance local food production, and to preserve natural wildlife as well as specifying the priorities of GCC’s future work in the field.
The implementation of biotechnology applications in resolving existing challenges would be the main focus of the workshop to overcome the natural limitations facing agricultural development.  Recommendations will be referred to the GCC Committee on agricultural systems and policies.
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