Al Ain (Union)
The United Arab Emirates University has signed a research partnership agreement with Kafue, a leading technology company, to conduct in-depth research on the successful cultivation and germination of Ghaf tree seeds in harsh climatic locations, such as the desert environment in the UAE.
This research is the first of its kind to be conducted in the country and represents the second phase of the Kafu program for planting Ghaf tree seeds, which aims to plant one million seeds in the UAE to help confront climate change. The study will also contribute to the next stage, which will depend on the current research and development work that Already implemented to help improve and create a self-sustaining seed ball that is able to survive in nature in peak summer temperatures, in addition to increasing seed viability, germination and water retention, the research findings will also strengthen the country’s knowledge bank on promoting desert cultivation. Across a range of desert plant species to improve habitat survival in harsh environments characterized by high temperatures and minimal water.
The memorandum was signed by Dr. Bhanu Chowdhury, Dean of the College of Food and Agriculture at the university, and Rashid Al Ghurair, Kafu’s founder and CEO. The signing ceremony was also attended by Dr. Muhammad Abdul Mohsen Al-Yafei, Vice Dean and Vice Dean of the College, and Nabra Al-Busaidi, Director of Sustainability and Society Department at Kafue, and the research team based on the project: Dr. Shyam Korb, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, and a number of faculty members in the faculty.
Dr. Muhammad Abdul Mohsen Al Yafei, Vice Dean and Vice Dean of the College, explained that “The Ghaf Tree Project is an ambitious initiative to revive arid ecosystems by planting millions of Ghaf trees, which are among the indigenous species that grow in the country, and Ghaf (its scientific name is “Prosopis cinearia” ) is the national tree of the United Arab Emirates. It is a strong tree that tolerates drought and works to improve the quality of the soil in which it is grown and the air around it. The roots of the Ghaf tree grow up to eighty meters, and each Ghaf tree absorbs up to 34.65 kg of harmful carbon dioxide. daily, to be released later in the form of oxygen, it also provides an important habitat and food source for a variety of animals and birds, including desert owls and long-legged goshawks.
Rashid Al Ghurair, Kafu’s founder and CEO, explained that “Ghaf tree cultivation is a labor intensive process, especially in the desert climate in the United Arab Emirates, where summer temperatures often reach 45 degrees Celsius, and given the intensity of cultivation required to make a difference. In the environment, we came up with a solution represented in the use of state-of-the-art guided aircraft technology that relies on artificial intelligence, and providing a solution through the (Made in the UAE) initiative, through which up to one million Ghaf trees will be planted throughout the Emirates, leading to an improvement in the environment. radically natural environment and ecosystem.
He added: “We are pleased to announce our partnership with the most prestigious universities in the United Arab Emirates in agricultural studies, as part of our endeavor to develop our research aimed at improving our desert homeland. As a responsible company, we are making great strides towards becoming a carbon neutral company and helping to tackle climate change that is of paramount importance to protecting the future for generations to come.”
He added, “The signing of this MoU is our first step to unleash an unlimited range of potential research projects between CAFU and UAE University, which will also explore the potential of other plant species as we look to expand the scope of the program in the future.” This research is a step forward in the quest to grow Ghaf tree seeds on a large scale via our drone technology in harsh weather conditions, increase the viability of seeds and improve their germination time, in addition to contributing to the knowledge-based economy of our country.