Riyadh host 1st Regional Conference for Irrigation & Agricultural Drainage in the Middle East

World Tuesday 27/February/2024 14:09 PM
By: Times News Service
Riyadh host 1st Regional Conference for Irrigation & Agricultural Drainage in the Middle East

Muscat: With the slogan of "Integrated management of the irrigation sector for flexible and sustainable development", the 1st Regional Conference for Irrigation & Agricultural Drainage in the Middle East 2024 launched its sessions on Tuesday in Riyadh with a large international and regional presence.

Under the patronage of His Excellency Engineer Abdul Rahman Bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and agriculture, Saudi Irrigation Organisation (SIO) in cooperation with The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), a tour in the exhibition of the participating entities manifested the launch of the conference, and on behalf of His Excellency, (MEWA)  Minister, (SIO) Chairman of the board of Directors, His Excellency, (SIO) president, Engineer Mohammed Ben Zaid Abu Heed delivered an opening speech, stressing the importance of such a conference to exchange of experiences between partners and entities to take care of agricultural irrigation and drainage issues with concerted efforts, as it deals with the issues and challenges facing the irrigation and drainage sector, and sustainable development.

“Over the past years, the Kingdom has been keen to adopt many plans and strategies that would improve water services and maximise their benefits and its sustainability with a comprehensive vision and an integrated system of planning and work, in convenient with the vision of the Saudi Vision 2030 to achieves the objectives of the National Water Strategy, the strategy of the Saudi Irrigation Organisation (SIO) and the Saudi National Committee for irrigation and drainage” Abu Heed Said.

He concluded with a special thanks for the attendees and participants of the conference, appreciating the effective partnership between (SIO) and (ICID) for holding such a successful conference, which is hoped to be a great start for effective partnerships and fruitful cooperation in the future.

On behalf of the (ICID) President, Dr. Marco Acier, the (ICID) Honorary President, Dr. Rajab Rajab, addressed the conference, assuring that this conference highlights the issue that confronting the world with insufficient water stocks or sources, how the growing demands on the world's freshwater resources threaten the most optimistic forecasts, while the climate change will increase these conditions.

Dr. Rajab stressed the strategic importance of saving water, increasing agricultural production and ensuring adequate levels of food security, as the modern irrigation can play a crucial role in ensuring food supplies and supporting economic development in many countries, and financing for new irrigation projects that have been developed, which contributes significantly to improve productivity and increase the resilience of rural communities, through the most efficient use of water resources.

During the opening ceremony, the participating sponsors of the conference،had been honoured, while a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) had been signed.

With the participation of 54 speakers from the Middle East and the world, the conference will continue till February 28th, seeking to develop sustainable solutions to manage available water resources and maximsze the use of renewable sources to meet the increasing demand for water in the agricultural sector, in addition to promoting modern technologies to provide a platform for those interested in irrigation, drainage and awareness to exchange experiences and knowledge, create partnerships and integrated management of irrigation and drainage water.