Newsletter August-October 2018

Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA)


Vol. 23  No.2                            Quarterly  Newsletter                     Aug-Oct  2018


Executive Committee


Dr. Mohammad Aziz Darghouth



Dr. Bülent Sonmez 

Vice President Representative of West and Central Asian Sub-Region:

(Saudi Arabia)

Dr. Nasser Al-Khalifah



Mr. Chouaki Salah,


Dr. Nizar Haddad


Dr. Mansour Alaqel,


Dr. Aly Abousabaa


Dr. Mark Holderness


Dr. Ismahane A. Elouafi


Dr. Salima Marzouki Ben Aziz  


Dr. Mohammad Ajlouni

Editorial Committee


  Hala Hamati


            Ola F. Shunnar                         

Executive Secretary

Mohammed M. Ajlouni




Editorial  Note







New Era for AARINENA


At the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 AARINENA going in a Transforming process in order to be more efficient and more transparent in serving and supporting its members. This process including transforming AARINENA itself to be ready to help in transforming the NENA Region Agriculture sector to be able to tackle the future challenges and achieve the Food Security for the increasing population of the region. This transforming process will concentrate on Innovation in Research and Higher Education in the Agriculture sector. The Research should be Stakeholders demand driven putting farmers, especially small – holders and Rural areas farmers in the focus. Research in Agriculture should respond to the needs of farmers on rural areas and concentrate on increasing their income and livelihood.  On the other hand, Higher Education should prepare the graduates for different future, it should develop a new curriculum and post curriculum education materials that develop the personality of the graduate, improve his soft and professional scales, and improve his leadership and management skills.


According to the above, AARINENA with its partners, GFAR, FAO, the regional CGIAR and non-CGIAR research centers and the development organizations are taking responsibility to promote this transformation and build the national capacity of the member countries to enable them to transfer their research and education systems to respond to the farmers demand and improve their national food security and sustainable development. 


















Genetic resource policies in Beirut, Lebanon, on 17-20 September 2018.

The Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA), the Policy Module of the CGIAR Genebank Platform and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) organized a workshop on genetic resource policies in Beirut, Lebanon, on 17-20 September 2018.

AARINENA executive secretary Dr. Mohamed Ajlouni with ten experts from AARINENA member countries: Oman, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Kuwait attended the workshop.


The workshop aims at improving the capacity of national focal points, genebank staff, breeders and intellectual property experts in national organizations and CGIAR Centers in Near East and neighboring countries to deal with policy, legal and practical issues related to acquiring, using and transferring plant genetic resources and related information in compliance with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and other relevant international and national laws.

Workshop goals:

·         Increase participants’ understanding of the CGIAR Centres’ obligations vis-à-vis international treaties and conventions dealing with access and benefit-sharing, and how these international instruments influence the day-to-day management of the collections;

·         Increase participants’ knowledge of the multilateral system of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) and their self-confidence in using the Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA) for the acquisition and transfer of plant genetic resources;

·         Increase participants’ awareness of the Nagoya Protocol and how it affects their management of plant genetic resources;

·         Enhance participants ‘ capacities to make decisions about what  protocols and transfer agreements  can or must be applied for acquiring or transferring genetic resources outside the multilateral system of the ITPGRFA;

·         Increase participant’s familiarity with resource people and material which can help them deal with policy and legal issues when managing genetic resources.


  Regional workshop on: Exchange of information and techniques on Date Palm Red Weevil Resistance (RPW) among NENA countries, Kuwait-KISR 25-27 Sep 2018


AARINENA in Cooperation with Kuwaiti Institution of Scientific Research (KISR) planned and organized a workshop under the title:


Exchange of Information and Techniques on Date Palm Red Weevil Resistance (RPW) Among NENA Countries”


Which were held in Kuwait between 25-27 Sep 2018. Ten experts from AARINENA member countries and organization: Jordan, UAE, KSA, Sudan, Morocco, Oman, ICARDA and FAO, having a good scientific knowledge of the RPW and its control, and fully aware of the details of the control program implemented in their country attended this workshop.


The Workshop aims at:

1.      Promoting knowledge exchange among participants;

2.      Documenting successful cases and distribute to other countries;

3.      Promoting scale up and scale out of the successful cases;

4.      Developing regional proposal to find financial resources to help countries in implementing the successful cases suitable for each country.


  1. Developing a regional project in Exchange of information and technologies on Red Weevil Control;
  2. Establish a regional innovation platform that included all stakeholders, especially the farmers, private sector and NGO’s. Where AARINENA will support the platform with logistics and try to find a way to build capacity for stakeholders in platform management;
  3. The regional activities in the control of the Red weevil should be participatory and including all stakeholders including NARS, Farmers, Privet sector, Extension, Education…..etc;
  4. The eradication of this weevil need to use all measures possible such as prevention, early detection, cultural practices, control, and plant destruction, therefore an integrated pest management system are the only way to achieve that on the national, regional, and the international level;
  5. The exchange of information and technologies among the different stakeholders and the up scaling and out scaling of good practices and successful cases is necessary to control this weevil with special care to the traditional knowledge of farmers;
  6. Socio-economic studies should be part of any research and technology transfer process to evaluate the impact of the infection and the technology effectiveness.

6th International Conference on the Olive Tree and Olive Products in Seville (Spain), 15-19 Oct 2018


The Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología and the Instituto de la Grasa, organized “6th International Conference on the Olive Tree and Olive Products in Seville (Spain)”, 15-19 Oct 2018, in which AARINENA representative; Dr. Mohamed Ajlouni with four experts from AARINENA member countries: Jordan, Tunis, and Lebanon, and other researchers, organizations and companies related to the olive tree and olive products participated this OLIVEBIOTEQ conferences.


Among those aims was to bring together the latest advances and knowledge in the areas of breeding and propagation; reproductive and molecular biology, genomics and biotechnology; crop response to biotic and abiotic stresses and crop management; economics of the olive crop and olive products; table olive and olive oil quality, authenticity, technology and by-products; and nutrition and health.


In summary, the key topics of the olive crop and olive products were covered, focusing on research, technological, industrial and commercial aspects. Scientific contributions would be combined with displays by exhibitors to showcase their products and services related to table olives and olive oil.

8th Scientific Agricultural Conference, Mutah University-Jordan, 15-17 Oct 2018


The Faculty of agriculture, Mutah University-Jordan in collaboration with Jordanian University, NCARE, FAO, ESCWA, AARINENA, MOA, MOWI, and EcoConsultant organized the 8th Scientific Agricultural Conference, during 15-17 Oct 2018.


This conference is important for education, agricultural innovations, research, farmers and students, and therefore, the continuation of the Scientific Agricultural Conference periodically every two years is very crucial for all stakeholders. It has been agreed that the next conference will be held in the National Agricultural Research Center. 


One of the main benefits of this conference is the ability to share data and disseminate research and scientific results to a wider community (governments, academic institutions, farmers and students) to address complex challenges more rapidly. Therefore, launching an electronic platform to publish and disseminate the contents of each conference for the benefits of all. The platform will be placed and available online on the website of each conference hosting institution


AARINENA president, Dr. Mohamed Darghouth participated the conference. He presented AARINENA DECENNIAL STRATEGY (2019-30), in the title:


The presentation he covered the following topics:

I.        The global context of the NENA agriculture and its implication for the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the NENA (AARINENA);

II.      The AARINENA decennial strategy: methodology of development, structure and general content.


 Conference recommendations:

1.      Promoting and enhancing research projects related to sustainable agriculture, which address the needs and expectations of the socio-economic stakeholders through implementing the following strategies: Establishing a methodology of dialogue with stakeholders to identify the main issues in the agriculture-food business, defining the expected outcomes of these research projects in coherent with the stakeholders, and ensuring the role of technology transfer in translating the research results into a practice;

2.      It is important to consider more robust research projects and leveraging resources from multiple investments, so that agricultural research has a role in forming policy. As well as discussing new research areas for Jordan: climate change, innovative technology and design for water management, salinity and droughts issues, agrochemicals alternatives for integrated pest management, gene editing technique for developing new crops and the utilization of plant genetic resources that have social and economic values;

3.      Fostering and utilizing opportunities for agricultural innovation in the field of sustainable agriculture to contribute to the global food security by encouraging plant breeders and research scientists to invest heavily in gene research, seed production and the exploitation of wild and local genetic resources for developing new plant varieties with specific traits that can adapt to climate change, salinity, drought and diseases;

4.      Engaging academic scientists in policy formulation related to sustainable agriculture and promoting agricultural science and innovation policy across the country;

5.      Establishing a new award for the best oral presentation and poster prepared by the students in future conferences to encourage students’ participation.