The participation of H.E Dr. Obaid Saif Hamad Al Zaabi, Chairman of AAAID, in a workshop on the role of artificial intelligence in modern agricultural methods

Date: 29 Feb, 2024

Location: Doha - Qatar

Upon the invitation of the General Secretariat of the Arab League, H.E Dr. Obaid Saif Hamad Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development, participated as a keynote speaker in a workshop on the role of artificial intelligence in modern agriculture. The workshop took place during the International Horticultural Exhibition – Expo Qatar 2023-2024 on Sunday, February 25, 2024, in Doha, Qatar.

During the event, Dr. Al Zaabi presented a working paper titled “Investment Areas to Support Smart Agriculture Systems in Arab Countries and the Efforts of AAAID in Implementing Smart Agriculture.” He highlighted the role of Arab financial institutions in supporting the development of AI applications in agriculture. He provided an overview about AAAID, its vision, mission, objectives, capital, activities, and its role in enhancing food security. He mentioned that AAAID contributes to 53 companies distributed across Arab countries, providing 17,530 permanent job opportunities and 109,844 seasonal job opportunities.

Dr. Al Zaabi emphasized the urgent need for innovative agricultural methods and more efficient food production systems to address the estimated $36.2 billion Arab food gap in 2022. He discussed various areas of smart agriculture that require investment, including precision farming, smart agriculture manufacturing, vertical farming, water-efficient agriculture technologies, plant hybridization, animal health, genetic improvement, supply chains, and human nutrition.

He also highlighted the establishment of an integrated precision farming unit at the Arab Sudanese Blue Nile Agricultural Company (Agadi) site. This technology has accelerated agricultural processes, improved accuracy in calculating cultivated areas, reduced input requirements, measured the performance of agricultural machinery, and contributed to large-scale farming in a short period. AAAID has also implemented the use of solar energy in agriculture in remote areas and introduced smart agriculture technologies in its companies.

Furthermore, Dr. Al Zaabi outlined AAAID’s future plans to promote the use of geographic information systems and Internet of Things (IoT) in agricultural machinery in its affiliated agricultural service companies across Arab countries. He concluded by proposing measures to develop smart agriculture in Arab countries, including funding startups to develop IoT applications in agriculture, utilizing satellite imagery and drones, establishing e-commerce platforms for essential food and agricultural input trade, creating an Arab agricultural data platform, and unifying laws related to modern technologies and IoT in the agricultural sector among Arab countries.