Food security is a topic of global concern and is of specific importance to Gulf countries due to rapid population growth and constraints to local food production caused by a harsh climate and limited water supply.
Gulf States depend heavily on food imports to meet local needs, and this dependence is expected to increase with food demand projected to grow by 50% over the next 20 years. This leaves Gulf nations exposed to risks due to unreliable supply chains and unstable prices in global food markets. Recognising these risks, countries across the Gulf have identified food security and associated topics including agritech, aquaculture and food safety as national priorities.
Scientific research has a critical role in meeting the challenge of guaranteeing food security, therefore, this symposium is organised to showcase the latest advances in these thematic areas.
This Symposium will be held at Sultan Qaboos University from 5th to 6th March, 2018 attended by scientists from Universities, other research institutions, start-up companies and established industry from the Gulf countries and the UK, as well as government entities. It will invite open discussions and potential investment to encourage the creation of UK-Gulf collaboration to access the deep pool of information & technology, which will in turn lead to benefits for both the Gulf and the UK and open the door for commercial opportunities.
This event will be funded and delivered as part of the UK Government Gulf Science Innovation Knowledge Economy Programme. This event is organised in collaboration by the UK Science & Innovation Network (SIN), the British Embassy in Oman, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the British Council, and is to be hosted by Sultan Qaboos University and supported by The Research Council, Muscat, Oman.
This event aims to encourage the exchange of ideas and experience between researchers in the Gulf and the UK and to create future cooperation to develop local food production systems, build resilience to unstable food supply networks, and tackle the increasing problems facing aquaculture and livestock farming (including antimicrobial resistance) through the presentation of research papers by participating scientists.
The sub-topics of this symposium will include the following:
- Controlled environments - greenhouse technology
- Dry land and saline agriculture
- Livestock farming in arid and harsh environments - challenges and advancements
- Maximising sustainable production
- Disease prevention and control
- Novel species and novel production methods
- Food safety
- Halal production - monitoring and quality
- Food spoilage, storage and transportation
- Food testing and standards
- Nutrition security
Dr Julian Smith will be joining the panel as a keynote speaker.
Julian Smith – Session VI:
09.00 – 10.15 UK – Gulf Science and Innovation Partnerships
Moderator: Suzanne Jones, Gulf Science, Innovation Knowledge Economy Programme Director
Professor Ghassan Al-Kindi, Dr. Rajamohan Natarajan, Sohar University, Oman & Professor Duncan Cameron, University of Sheffield
HMG UK - Gulf Institutional Links Project - Self-sustainable Green House in Oman – Renewable Energy