The UAE tests wheat production in the desert, just as Saudi Arabia is phasing it out.
The project of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority has received 90 percent of the seeds from International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre in Mexico, which is part of the CGIOAR research centers. Together with the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture in Dubai they want to test which varieties are most suitable for the UAE climate.
The project comes at a time when the Abu Dhabi Water Master plan has warned in 2009 that water consumption of agriculture in the UAE is utterly unsustainable. The government speaks of water being at a “tipping point.”
It is puzzling why the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority which is in charge of designing food security policies for the emirate embarks on such a water guzzling project.
Of course it is being sold as a contribution to food security. It is not. It would threaten water security if practiced on a wide scale. The best that can be hoped for is that it just remains a white elephant pilot project.