Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition (Forum FSN)

Profil des membres

M. Fadi Mujahid

Organisation: Digital Agriculture Expert
Pays: République arabe syrienne
Domaine(s) de spécialisation
I am working on:

Digital agriculture

Fadi Mujahid is a distinguished expert in digital agriculture, seamlessly blending his comprehensive knowledge in computer engineering with agricultural innovation. His role as a Digital Agriculture Consultant for the FAO exemplifies his ability to provide strategic guidance on Internet-based agriculture extension systems, facilitating digital technologies to enhance agricultural services. His achievements include designing and developing a web-based, progressive Agriculture Information Management System (AIMS) for the FAO's Subregional Office for Southern Africa. This platform not only featured advanced data analytics tools but also established a robust database and APIs for seamless integration with member state systems.

His academic background, with a B.S. in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Texas Arlington, Organic Horticulture certificate from New Zealand, and professional certifications in Digital Agriculture from the World Bank Group, fortifies his expertise in this domain. These credentials, combined with practical experience, enable Fadi to devise innovative solutions that address contemporary challenges in digital agriculture. His approach is a blend of academic rigor and real-world application, ensuring that digital solutions are both technically sound and practically viable for agricultural advancement.

Fadi's unique skill set positions him at the forefront of the digital transformation in agriculture, where his work significantly impacts farming communities and agricultural stakeholders. His contributions are not just technical solutions but pathways to sustainable agricultural practices in the digital age.

Ce membre a contribué à/au:

    • Here are some potential ways FAO can better support countries in addressing governance of agrifood systems transformation:

      1. Enhance stakeholder engagement and inclusivity:

      • Facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogues and platforms where diverse actors (farmers, private sector, civil society, policymakers) can voice their needs and collaboratively develop solutions.
      • Support capacity building of marginalized groups (women, youth, indigenous communities) to strengthen their participation in decision-making processes.
      • Promote transparency and accountability mechanisms in governance structures.

      2. Offer tailored guidance and tools:

      • Develop context-specific toolkits and guidelines on effective governance arrangements for various agrifood system challenges (e.g., sustainable production, climate change adaptation, food security).
      • Conduct needs assessments and provide technical assistance to countries in designing and implementing their own agrifood system transformation plans.
      • Support knowledge exchange and learning platforms where countries can share best practices and challenges related to governance.

      3. Strengthen legal and policy frameworks:

      • Assist countries in reviewing and revising existing policies and laws to align with sustainable and inclusive agrifood system goals.
      • Support the development of new legislation and regulations that address emerging challenges (e.g., digitalization, access to land and water).
      • Advocate for international policies that promote equitable and sustainable food systems globally.

      4. Invest in data and evidence-based decision-making:

      • Support countries in collecting and analyzing data on various aspects of their agrifood systems (e.g., production, consumption, trade, nutrition).
      • Build capacity for data analysis and interpretation to inform effective policy and investment decisions.
      • Develop monitoring and evaluation frameworks to track progress towards national and international food system goals.

      5. Leverage financial resources and partnerships:

      • Mobilize financial resources from diverse sources (public, private, philanthropic) to support governance-related initiatives in agrifood systems transformation.
      • Foster partnerships with other international organizations, research institutions, and NGOs to leverage expertise and resources.
      • Advocate for increased investments in international cooperation and development assistance to support developing countries in achieving sustainable food systems.
    • Biodiversity Enhancement and Sustainable Production


      The design of our regenerative olive farm, located in a Mediterranean region, encompasses a multi-layered approach to agriculture that harmonizes productivity with biodiversity preservation and ecosystem service enhancement. This submission outlines the farm's design, focusing on biodiversity integration, sustainable water management, soil health, crop diversity, and livestock integration as key components of our regenerative agriculture practices that enhance biodiversity.

      Farm Design and Biodiversity Integration 

      The farm's periphery is structured in layers, starting with a stone wall built from locally sourced stones, followed by a natural barbed fence comprising raspberry bushes, Damask roses, and cacti, providing both physical protection and additional income through the sale of fruits, cosmetics, and medicinal products. Windbreaks, consisting of tall trees such as cypress, eucalyptus, and walnut, form the third layer, with wind-resistant shrubs like Leucaena and acacia comprising the fourth layer. These layers serve dual purposes of protecting the farm from adverse weather and supporting biodiversity through habitat provision.

      Biodiversity Water Management 

      Our water management system divides the farm into sectors, each with its well and an independent irrigation network designed according to precision agriculture principles. This system includes surface storage lakes for irrigation, which also serve as habitats for freshwater fish like carp, contributing to the farm's income and biodiversity. Surrounding these lakes, water-loving trees provide shade, reducing evaporation and contributing further to the farm's diverse ecosystem.

      The following are some of the followed concepts to arrive at the use of surface storage lakes as a main design element

      1. Habitat Diversity

      Water bodies on the farm provide aquatic habitats that support a variety of life forms. These include not only the stocked fish species, such as carp, but also a range of aquatic plants, invertebrates, and microorganisms. The diversity of habitats, from open water to the vegetated banks and submerged plant zones, offers niches for different species, enhancing overall biodiversity. The diverse plant life associated with the water bodies and the rest of the farm attracts pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other insects.

      2. Aquatic Ecosystem Support:

      Fish play a crucial role in the aquatic ecosystem, contributing to nutrient cycling within the water bodies. Their activities help in aerating the water, which is beneficial for both the fish themselves and the microorganisms in the water. Furthermore, fish waste serves as a natural fertilizer, enriching the water with nutrients that support the growth of aquatic plants.

      3. Bird Attraction and Diversity

      Ducks and geese are attracted to the farm by the water bodies and the availability of food sources, including fish, aquatic plants, and insects. These birds contribute to biodiversity through their roles in seed dispersal and the control of aquatic vegetation and pests. Their droppings add nutrients to the water, further supporting the aquatic ecosystem. Moreover, the presence of these birds can attract other species of wildlife, such as migratory birds, enhancing the farm's role as a biodiversity hotspot.

      4. Vegetation and Microhabitat Creation

      The plants surrounding the water bodies, such as willows, alders, and other moisture-loving species, provide important ecological functions. They offer shade, reducing water evaporation, and their root systems help stabilize the banks, preventing erosion. These plants also create microhabitats for various species, including birds, insects, and small mammals, contributing to the structural diversity of the farm's ecosystem.

      Soil Health and Crop Nutrition 

      The farm's soil management practices are based on organic principles, focusing on self-sufficiency and minimizing external inputs. Livestock and poultry manure, along with plant waste, are processed into natural fertilizers, supporting soil health and crop nutrition without chemical inputs. Cover crops, including legumes and fodder plants, are grown between olive trees to improve soil nitrogen content, prevent erosion, and provide additional revenue.

      The decision to exclude synthetic pesticides from the management practices of the farm is a significant step towards sustainable agriculture and has profound implications for biodiversity, soil health, water quality, and the overall ecosystem resilience. 

      Impact on Biodiversity

      1. Enhanced Pollinator Health: Synthetic pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, have been linked to declines in bee populations and other pollinators. By avoiding these chemicals, the farm supports the health and diversity of pollinators, which are essential for the fertilization of many crops and wild plants, ensuring food security and ecological balance.
      2. Increased Soil Biota Diversity: Soil organisms, including bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and microarthropods, play critical roles in nutrient cycling, organic matter decomposition, and soil structure maintenance. Synthetic pesticides can harm these organisms, reducing soil fertility and crop health. A pesticide-free approach preserves and enhances soil biodiversity, contributing to more robust and resilient soil ecosystems.
      3. Support for Natural Pest Predators: Many synthetic pesticides are non-selective, killing not only target pests but also their natural enemies, such as ladybugs, spiders, and birds. By not using these pesticides, the farm allows populations of natural predators to thrive. These predators help control pest populations through natural predation, reducing the need for human intervention and supporting a balanced ecosystem.
      4. Prevention of Resistance Buildup: By relying on ecological pest management strategies and avoiding synthetic chemicals, the farm helps prevent the development of resistant pest species, ensuring longer-term sustainability of pest management practices.
      5. Promotion of Plant Diversity and Resilience: The absence of synthetic pesticides encourages the cultivation of a wider variety of crops, including heirloom and native species that may be more resilient to pests and diseases in the local environment. 

      Crop Diversity and Livestock Integration 

      The farm hosts 84,000 olive trees, divided equally between table olives and oil production varieties. Intercropping with fodder and legumes, along with utilizing fish pond water for irrigation, exemplifies our approach to polyculture and integrated pest management. Livestock, including sheep, chickens, ducks, and geese, are raised within the farm, contributing to biodiversity, soil health through manure, and pest control.

      The decision to host six different types of olive trees on the farm represents a strategic approach to agricultural biodiversity, which can have profound impacts on the farm's ecosystem, resilience, and productivity. This diversity in olive cultivars is not only beneficial for crop yield and product variety but also plays a significant role in enhancing the ecological balance and sustainability of the farming system.

      Impact on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

      1. Genetic Diversity: Cultivating multiple olive varieties enhances genetic diversity within the crop system. This diversity is crucial for adapting to changing environmental conditions, pests, and diseases. 
      2. Pest and Disease Resistance: Different olive varieties may have varying levels of resistance or susceptibility to pests and diseases. By diversifying the types of olives grown, the farm can avoid the scenario where a single pest or disease significantly impacts the entire crop. This approach naturally aligns with organic and sustainable farming practices that favor ecological solutions to pest management.
      3. Habitat Complexity: A diverse planting scheme, including different olive varieties, contributes to the complexity of the farm's habitat. This complexity supports a wider range of wildlife, including beneficial insects, birds, and other organisms, contributing to a balanced ecosystem. 
      4. Climate Change Adaptation: Biodiversity is a key factor in climate change adaptation. Different olive varieties will have varied tolerances to conditions such as drought, heat, and cold. 

      Food Forest 

      The concept of a food forest surrounding the main buildings of a farm, incorporating over 30 types of fruit trees along with seasonal vegetables, is a strategic design element that serves multiple purposes, primarily to enhance biodiversity and to provide fresh organic food for the farm's owners and workers. This design element embodies the principles of permaculture, a sustainable land management system that seeks to mimic the patterns and relationships found in natural ecosystems.

      Biodiversity Enhancement

      The food forest's diverse array of plant species creates a rich habitat for wildlife, including beneficial insects, birds, and small mammals, which contribute to the ecological health of the farm. This diversity ensures a resilient ecosystem capable of self-regulation and pest management, reducing the need for chemical inputs. The variety of plants also promotes a healthy soil microbiome, crucial for nutrient cycling and soil fertility.

      Provision of Fresh Organic Food

      The food forest provides an abundance of fresh, organic produce throughout the year. Seasonal vegetables and fruits harvested from the forest offer a sustainable source of food for farm owners and workers, contributing to food security and reducing the carbon footprint associated with food transportation. 


      The design of our regenerative olive farm represents a scalable model for integrating biodiversity into agriculture. By adopting regenerative practices, we not only enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services but also ensure the sustainability of food production and improve livelihood resilience. We believe that our farm serves as a practical example of how agriculture can contribute to achieving the targets set by the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, promoting a shift towards more sustainable and biodiverse agricultural systems.


      Fadi Mujahid

      February 8th, 2024

    • Incorporating the hidden costs and benefits of agrifood systems into decision-making is pivotal for the transformation towards sustainability. Agrifood systems are integral to human society, providing food, employment, and cultural identity. However, their impacts extend far beyond these visible benefits, encompassing environmental degradation, climate change, and social inequities. To address these challenges, a comprehensive approach that integrates these hidden costs and benefits into policy and practice is essential.

      The True Cost of Agrifood Systems

      The concept of True Cost Accounting (TCA) is instrumental in revealing the real value of agrifood systems. TCA quantifies the environmental, social, and economic impacts often overlooked in conventional analysis. For example, while agrifood systems contribute significantly to global employment, they also play a role in exacerbating climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, while they provide essential nourishment, certain practices lead to biodiversity loss and resource depletion.

      Environmental Costs

      One of the most pressing issues in agrifood systems is their environmental impact. These systems are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through deforestation, livestock farming, and the use of fossil fuels in agriculture. Moreover, intensive farming practices result in soil degradation, water depletion, and pollution. To internalize these costs, decision-makers must implement policies that promote sustainable farming techniques, such as regenerative agriculture, which enhances biodiversity, improves soil health, and sequesters carbon.

      Social and Health Costs

      The hidden social and health costs of agrifood systems are equally significant. Unhealthy dietary patterns, encouraged by the availability of cheap, processed foods, lead to a rise in diet-related diseases. Additionally, there is a social disparity in food access, with undernourishment prevalent in some regions while others face the challenges of overconsumption and waste. Policies aimed at creating a more equitable food system are necessary, focusing on improving access to healthy foods and reducing food waste.

      Economic Implications

      The economic implications of these hidden costs are substantial. The current model of agrifood systems, which often prioritizes short-term gains, overlooks long-term sustainability. This approach can lead to increased expenses in the future, such as higher healthcare costs due to diet-related diseases or the costs associated with environmental remediation. Transitioning to sustainable practices, though initially more costly, can lead to long-term economic benefits, including job creation in sustainable agriculture sectors and reduced healthcare spending.

      Policy Integration and Stakeholder Collaboration

      Integrating TCA into policy development is crucial. This requires collaboration between government, industry, civil society, and consumers. Governments can implement policies that incentivize sustainable practices, such as subsidies for organic farming or taxes on carbon emissions. Businesses, on the other hand, can adopt sustainable practices in their operations and supply chains, driven by consumer demand for responsible products.

      Consumer Awareness and Behavior

      Consumer behavior plays a vital role in transforming agrifood systems. Educating consumers about the environmental, social, and health impacts of their food choices can motivate more sustainable consumption patterns. This shift in consumer demand can drive change in the agrifood industry, leading to more responsible production practices.

      Case Studies and Practical Applications

      To illustrate the application of TCA in different contexts, various case studies can be explored. For instance, a study in a water-scarce region could assess the impact of different irrigation techniques on water conservation and crop yield. Another case study might evaluate the health and social consequences of shifting from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one in a specific community.

      Challenges and Future Directions

      Despite the potential of TCA, there are challenges in its implementation. These include the difficulty of quantifying certain costs and benefits, the need for comprehensive data, and resistance from stakeholders accustomed to the status quo. Further research and development of methodologies for TCA are necessary to overcome these challenges.

      In conclusion, effectively incorporating the hidden costs and benefits of agrifood systems into decision-making is a complex but essential task. It requires a holistic approach, encompassing environmental, social, and economic aspects. By adopting True Cost Accounting and engaging various stakeholders in this process, it is possible to transform agrifood systems into sustainable models that benefit both people and the planet. The journey towards this transformation will involve challenges, but the potential rewards - a sustainable, equitable, and healthy food system - are immense.