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Khalifa Fund and IWS to support the International Year of Family Faming Campaign 2014, a UN Declaration

Source: International Water Summit


Abu Dhabi, Jan 22, 2014 - (ACN Newswire) - International Water Summit (IWS) and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development will support the International Year of Family Farming 2014 initiative declared by the United Nations General Assembly, hosting over 40 agricultural delegates from around the world on January 21st at the 2nd International Water Summit (IWS).

The United Nations has declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) with the mission to promote sustainable relationships between family farming communities and the environment. The IYFF campaign aims to urge nations to introduce smart farming techniques that increase agricultural production while decreasing environmental impact.

It is an important milestone for Abu Dhabi to be hosting this event, as water, energy and food security nexus is on top of the agenda for all nations. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reports the agricultural industry accounts for 70 percent of water used in the world. The event, which is being held at the Sustainable Water Solutions Village, provides the opportunity for agricultural delegates to share best practices and knowledge in an effort to find solutions to this critical issue. The Sustainable Water Solutions Village (SWSV) at the 2nd International Water Summit (IWS) is themed around educating the international farming community about innovative agricultural solutions and alternatives. Industry best practices and seminars are presented including sessions on irrigation, the water energy nexus along with water reuse and recycling technologies.

In support of IYFF 2014, Khalifa Fund will present its agricultural related projects, which look to increase crop productivity through innovation, leading to sustainable economic solutions. Zaarie, its most recently launched sustainable agricultural programme seeks to support and encourage Emirati farmers to adopt smart farming techniques, namely hydroponics. The programme offers farmers interest free loans of up to one million Dirhams to help develop their farms.

"It is an honor for Khalifa Fund to host this important event. The fact that there are over 25,000 farm lands within the Abu Dhabi Emirate itself just goes to show you the huge potential that some of our programs will have an impact on. What we hope to capture from such participation is the sharing of knowledge and experiences and applying best practices, all in the effort to drive water conservation. The whole culture of having the Emirati population develop the farms given to them by the late President His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is nothing new, what has changed in the last decade is the technology that was going to support that development. What we now see is a culture that is thriving towards both commercial and sustainable solutions because of the introduction of new farming methods such as hydroponics," said Abdullah Saeed AL Darmaki, CEO Khalifa Fund.

About Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development

Established in 2007 by the Government of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development aims to promote entrepreneurship among UAE nationals by instilling and enriching the culture of investment as well as supporting SMEs. The Fund offers capacity building and financing programs which include Khutwa (micro), Bedaya (startup), Zeyada (expansion) and Tasnea (industrial). With a capital of US $550m, to date, 575 projects have been approved with loans exceeding US $200m. In addition to its core operations, Khalifa Fund's socio economic initiatives include: Sougha, for heritage handicrafts, Al Radda, an entrepreneurship development and funding program for Emirati inmates and Ishraq, for recovered drug addicts. To tackle the issue of water scarcity, Zarei, a farming program was recently launched to fund and teach Emiratis non-conventional farming methods, namely hydroponics while Amal, is an aquaponics farming project that provides employment opportunities for Emiratis with special needs.

About International Water Summit

IWS 2014, hosted by Masdar, is a global platform that hosts world leaders, government organizations, policymakers, public and private sector investors, business leaders, consultants and water experts to interact, negotiate and finalise plans to develop diverse and sustainable water portfolios in the GCC and other regions.

The inaugural edition of International Water Summit 2013, hosted by Masdar with the strategic Partnership of ADWEA, was attended by over 4700 attendees from 75 countries and contributed significantly to addressing global water issues such as water scarcity in Arab regions, sustainable growth and economic development in arid regions, the future challenges of water availability and cross-boundary collaboration through international water governance and the water - energy nexus.

IWS 2014, from 20-22 January 2014, is co-located with World Future Energy Summit, also hosted by Masdar, as a part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global platform that addresses the interconnected challenges that affect the widespread acceleration and adoption of sustainable development and renewable energy. For more information about the International Water Summit, visit: www.iwsabudhabi.com.

Source: International Water Summit

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