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Innovation and Technology Transfer

AAAID has paid special attention to technology transfer to the private sector and small-scale farmers for the adaptation and application in Research and Development projects. The following section contains the main technologies that have been successfully transferred through AAAID’s various research stations.

This is an alternative system to conventional agricultural systems prevailing in the agricultural sector also known as Conservation Agriculture. This system has characteristics that increase productivity, maintain the environment and achieve high economic efficiency. Zero-tillage agricultural systems are applied to grow crops without disturbing the soil's structure, composition and natural biodiversity. In this manner, it has improved potential crop yields, while improving the long-term environmental and financial sustainability of farming.  It has achieved remarkable results during years of application. Chief among these is a 100% success rate, maximization of productivity and maintenance of soil against different environmental factors.

Precision Farming

AAAID has adopted and applied Precision farming in its pioneering farm in the Agadi project, Sudan during 2003’s farming season during the same period zero tillage was applied. A specialized unit for this system was established in the project site. Application of this system has achieved remarkable results in the productivity of cotton, sunflower and sorghum, maximizing cultivated land area. A basic topographic map as well as contour maps were prepared covering all cultivated lands. Application of this system using Controlled Traffic Technology has increased the area of cultivated land by 5%.

Modern Irrigation Systems:

AAAID’s Applied Agricultural Research Unit has implemented a number of programs for testing modern irrigation systems across the Arab States to increase productivity, secure food, maintain water resources and fertile soil. Several of these systems were introduced through AAAID research stations and investment projects including lateral move irrigation, axial irrigation, magnetic water, sprinkler and dripping irrigation systems. These have been introduced in areas where water is scarce or the soil faces drainage or salinity problems, along with surface siphon irrigation systems in areas where irrigation water is not continuously available.

Applying such modern irrigation technologies has motivated the agricultural companies operating in the Arab States to monitor and keep pace with AAAID’s innovative systems and adopt the same in their own agricultural projects. AAAID was one of the first organizations to introduce surface siphon irrigation systems in their projects in the Republic of Sudan.

Tissue Culture:

AAAID has paid special attention to fiber agriculture through the organization of a number of specialized seminars in the field. It has established an integrated fiber agriculture laboratory in the Comoro Islands to multiply the production of starchy bananas, which is considered the country’s main staple food and tissue culture is planned to use this technique in the future for the production of potatoes and aromatic plants.

Introduction of New Crops and Hybrid Seeds for Reinforcement of Food Security and Increased Productivity:

In its quest to increase crop productivity and achieve food security, AAAID has introduced several new hybrid vegetables and crops during the basic production season including tomato, carrot, cucumber, cauliflower and garlic. As a result, the productivity levels of several cultivated crops have exponentially increased such as tomatoes, which reached about 6 times more than opposed to traditional production methods.

AAAID also introduced crops, which could be produced in open fields and out of season on a commercial scale. This made it possible to produce these crops out of season, whereby it has been difficult to produce them during the same season previously. These included onions, muskmelon, black-eyed peas, hybrid zucchini and taro in the summer season. This initiative resulted in a significant increase in productivity to about three times higher than traditional production method adopted previously.

Protected Agriculture - Plastic Greenhouses and Tunnels:

AAAID introduced Protected agricultural systems for crop production outside of the normal season for the first time through its projects in Sudan (Al Mutmayiza Company and Atbara Company), Mauritania (Ross Station), Comoro Islands (Bandasmilini Station) and Yemen (Maanoofa and Qeeso stations).

The technology used in protected agriculture differs according to the climatic conditions in each target area, In Sudan as an example, cooled protected greenhouses were introduced to produce  crops such as tomato, cucumber and paprika due to the high temperatures in summer and autumn,.  Therefore, on the other hand, in Comoros and Socotra where there are very violent winds, reinforced and tightly closed plastic greenhouses and tunnels were introduced in the rainy seasons.

Agricultural Machinery:

AAAID, during its work in the Arab States in the mid-1970s, popularized the use of agricultural machinery and utilized modern technologies to localize its agricultural and investment activities, for the purpose of achieving high-quality implementation of agricultural processes and improving production efficiency. It secured all the agricultural machinery and equipment for its projects and companies operating in Sudan for development requirements of . Such machinery included tractors, planting equipment, zero-tillage equipment, manual sprinklers, shield sprinklers, harvesters, specialised agricultural equipment, loaders, graders, lorries, and others.

Manufacturing Silage:

To enhance its role and contribution towards the achievement of Arab food security through the transfer and localization of modern agricultural technologies, AAAID began implementing a research and investment maize cultivation project as fodder (silage) from maize crop, for the first time in Sudan, at the Arab Crops Production Company (Atbara). As a fact , maize crop is considered one of the most important crops for providing food security and is a promising crop in Sudan and the Arab States. In addition, silage from maize is deemed to be one of the most important modern sources for providing milk as an integrated, high-quality feed for all ruminants.