Rome, 3 December 2003 -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and FAO have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to strengthen the operation of national agricultural information centre UAEAGRICENT, housed at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, FAO said on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the United Arab Emirates and FAO will work together to bolster UAEAGRICENT to act as a national and regional resource for agricultural information management.

The online agricultural information centre will provide up-to-date information, in Arabic, on a wide variety of farming, fishing and forestry topics including animal genetics and breeding, plant science and production and natural resource management.

It is hoped that through sharing information the initiative will create and strengthen networks of trained experts and decision-makers to support food security among the Gulf States and neighbouring Middle Eastern countries.

The five-year collaboration, beginning in January 2004, will intend to make the most of the country's strategic location along with the knowledge and expertise of FAO to achieve tangible development outcomes in agricultural information management.

The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed on Wednesday 3rd December by the United Arab Emirates Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Saeed Bin Mohammed Al-Raqabani and FAO Assistant Director-General for Technical Cooperation, Henri Carsalade, on behalf of Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO.
Stephanie Holmes
Information Officer
(+39) 06 570 56350