Proceedings of the 10th General Conference of AARINENA
Sana’a, Yemen,25-27 June, 2006



Opening Session
Election of Reporter & Nomination Officer & Adoption of the Agenda
AARINENA Activities Report
Inter-Regional Cooperation’s Session
Network Activities Session
AARINENA ICM-RAIS Advocacy Workshop
Administrative Issues & Work Plan Session
Constitutional Amendment
Financial statement
Work plan for 2006-2007
Election of the New Executive Committee of AARINENA
Date and Venue of the 11th General Conference of AARINENA
Decisions Taken by the Executive Committee
Annex I (List of Participants)
Annex II (Agenda)
Annex III (AARINENA Activity Report)

Opening Session

The 10th General Conference of AARINENA was held in Sana’a, Yemen during the period of 25 to 27th of June 2006, under the auspices of His Excellency Mr. Abdel Kader Ba-Jamal, the Prime Minister of Yemen. The Conference was cosponsored by FAO, ICARDA, GFAR and IPGRI in Collaboration with the Agricultural Research & Extension Authority (AREA) in Yemen.

The opening session was addressed by H.E. Dr. Galal Fakirah the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation in Yemen. Adel El-Beltagy GFAR Chair, Dr. Mahmoud Solh ICARDA Director General, Hashim A-Shami FAO/Rep in Yemen, Dr. George Ayad IPGRI Regional Coordinator Dr. Abdelnabi Fardous AARINENA President and Dr. Ismail Muharram, the Chairman of Agricultural Research & Extension Authority (AREA) in Yemen.

Commemorative Awards of appreciation were presented to Dr Mohamed Zehni, Dr. Abdelnabi Fardous, Dr. Ola Smith and Dr. Mohamed Roozitalab for their contributions and support to AARINENA.

Nineteen Institution representatives from AARINENA member countries participated in the conference: (Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen). Representatives of 14 Regional and International organizations representatives also participated in the conference: (AOAD, APAARI, FAO, FARA, FORAGRO, GFAR, Heifer International, ICARDA, ICBA, IFAD, IFAP, IFPRI, IPGRI, and UNOPS. (Annex I).











Election of Reporter, Nomination Officer & Adoption of the Agenda

The conference elected Dr. George Attard from Malta as Reporter and Dr. Christos Papacrhristforou from Cyprus as Nomination Officer. The agenda of the meeting was adopted by the conference (Annex II).








AARINENA Activities Session

The session was chaired by Dr. Fardous who presented Dr. Ibrahim Hamdan, the Executive Secretary to report on AARINENA activities that was implemented since the 9th General Conference held in Oman in April 2004. The report included the decisions and recommendations of the Executive Committee meetings, RAIS-ICT activities, Networks activities, Global post harvest initiative, publications and meetings held during this period. (Report details are shown in Annex III).

Then the chairman requested AARINENA sub regional representatives to present the activities in their sub-regions. Presentation was made by Dr. Ahmad Al-Bakri, representing the Arabian Peninsula Sub-Region who reviewed the progress made in the Arabian Peninsula sub region. Dr. Al-Bakri welcomed the new member's that joined AARINENA and thanked ICARDA for establishing permanent office of AARINENA at ICARDA Regional Office in Amman, Jordan. He was pleased that AARINENA cosponsored two international activities in Oman on "Post Harvest Technology and Quality Management in Arid Tropics" and on "Bio-safety". He listed various activities conducted by the Arabian Peninsula sub region along with the publication of a Success story from Oman on Rangeland seeds.

Dr. Ismail Muharram, representing the Nile Valley and Red Sea made a presentation on the sub-region activities. He indicated that members of the sub-region have participated in the activities of the Date-palm, Medicinal &Aromatic plants and Olive networks and in the Regional Agricultural Information System (RAIS). He stated that the newly elected chairman of the Information &Communication Technology (ICT) Steering Committee is from Yemen. He described his participation representing AARINENA in the IFAP meeting in Anatalya-Turkey. He made a presentation on “Involving farmers and farmers’ organizations in the research work” as a case study from Yemen.

Dr. Bouchaib Bolnour, on behalf of Dr. Hamid Narjisse, representing the Maghareb sub-region summarized the activities of the sub-region as follows :a) AARINENA Executive committee meeting (22-23 December, 2004) in Marrakech adopted a proposal for establishing a Water Use Efficiency Network and recommended to prepare GAP manual for Olive; b) INRA presented a country paper on the national agricultural information system in Morocco at the Inter-regional ICT - RAIS meeting 10-13 May, 2005; c) Represented AARINENA at FARA General Assembly meeting 6 – 12 June, 2005 in Entebbe – Uganda and d) Represented AARINENA at FARA Executive Committee Meeting, February 2006 in ACRA ; the meeting was dedicated to governance issues in FARA management as well as discussion of project initiatives presented by FARA on North African countries initiative within FARA Organization, Promotion of Science and Technology for Agricultural development.

Mrs. Taraneh Ebrahimi, on Behalf of Dr. M Roozitalab, representing the West Asia sub-region, presented the activities in the sub-region which included the Priorities of Collaboration in Agricultural Research, 2006-2010 And Agricultural information management system Activities on the Design, collection of data(Online) and establishment of Database on Agricultural Researchers in the Western Asia Sub-Region (Iran, Pakistan, Turkey). The presentation included information about activities on the Cotton Network.












Inter-Regional Cooperation’s Session

The session was chaired by Dr. A. El-Beltagy; several presentations were made regarding inter-regional cooperation. GFAR presentation was made by Mr. Ola Smith who indicated that Inter regional Collaboration next steps should include: a) Continue and intensify mutual participation in RF activities (networking and identification of opportunities), b) Formal studies to identify strengths and opportunities, c) Intensify formal and informal exchanges of information, knowledge and expertise (success stories) d) Adopt the EMBRAPA Labex model of capacity building and e) Develop and implement joint activities of mutual interest.

Mr. Jack Wilkinson, President of IFAP, centered his talk on the threat being faced by small farmers all over the world. He felt that the small family farm is in danger of becoming extinct. Furthermore, the emergence of large supermarkets in all four corners of the globe is posing serious threats to the local small farm holdings. He thus made a plea to those present to take note of this situation and urged them to take a stand to protect the small farmer.

Dr. Mohamed Zehni, in his presentation, traced the steps that led to the development of a Regional Conservation Strategy for the WANA Region. He stressed that, while this was an initiative by the Global Crop Diversity Trust (the Trust), the Strategy eventually would be further developed and owned by the region. The Trust had envisaged, from the beginning, that the strategy to be developed in consultation with AARINENA and other major stakeholders. Based on the information gathered from twelve countries, Dr. Zehni indicated that so far, countries in the region have made a good job in collecting and conserving PGRFA, but he emphasized that crop diversity is at risk making the case for sustaining major crop collections in the region. He reviewed measures to strengthen coordination and collaboration at national and regional level and appealed to the General Conference to endorse, in principle, the WANA Strategy allowing it, along with any future PGR collaborative regional mechanism, to develop under its auspices.

Dr. Raj Paroda presented APAARI activities related to Inter-regional Partnership such as: membership among Regional Fora, participation in meetings, sharing information through GFAR Global-RAIS initiative and success stories. He gave examples of research networking including: INCANA, APCoAB, CLAN (ICRISAT, ICARDA, and AVRDC). He mentioned other activities of inter-regional collaborations: the new initiative on - Linking Farmers to Market (LFM): Inter-RWG meeting on September 11-15, 2006, Cairo, Egypt. He cited partnership in the future for collaboration with AARINENA: INCANA, date palm network and medicinal & aromatic plants network. He called for Greater cooperation between AARINENA, APAARI and CACAARI in Participation in meetings and in Joint Publications. Dr. Paroda requested Support from: GFAR, FAO, ICARDA and ICRISAT to strengthen partnerships and working together with an aim to strengthen Agricultural Research in Asia –Pacific and throughout the World.

Mrs. Myra Woperies-Pura presented on behalf of Dr. Monty Jones “FARA
inter-regional partnership”. The presentation included information about Africa in terms of its rural populations, average growth, land areas and arable land and about low agricultural production. The pillars of Comprehensive African Agricultural Development program (CAADP) were presented. Then she explained the main Thrusts of FARA on 1) Advocacy & constituency building 2) Partnership promotion and 3) Information and Learning Exchange. The status and activities on these thrusts was presented in detail, in addition to the current status of ARD in Africa and the Framework for African Agricultural Productivity (FAAP). The presentation included information about the Sub Saharan Africa Challenge Program (SSA CP), the pilot learning sites and projects in the sub –regions and the Regional Agricultural Information Learning Program System (RAILS). Finally the presentation focused on future partnership with AARINENA by facilitating the North African countries involvement in all FARA regional initiatives

Dr. Cruz presented the Forum of the Americas for agricultural research and technology development (FORAGRO). In his presentation he covered some important characteristics of the Agriculture sector in Latin America .A region of large capacity for agricultural production and livestock production. He also covered the Agricultural challenges in the LAC from technological perspective tendencies of the agricultural sector. He outlined the priority themes for the regional R&D Agenda for FORAGRO: 1) Conservation, characterization and use of genetic resource 2) Sustainable management of natural resources 3) Agri-business: promotion and development 4) Development and use of new biotechnology products and 5) Information systems and training in ICTs.

Dr. Wilberforce, Kisamba-Mugerwa presented Strengthening Impact Orientation in Agricultural Research for Development Systems in Africa. In his presentation he covered :IFPRI Vision and Mission; ISNAR Needs Assessments Results, Paradigm Shift; ISNAR Primary focus; ISNAR division research Components; ISNAR division Programs; Agenda setting for Impact Orientation; Alternative Institutional Framework and Implementation Strategy.










Network Activities Session

Dr. Mahmoud Solh chaired this session who emphasized that networks are a mean and not an end in problem solving. Networking gives to more complementarily activity and is a tool to have experts to discuss and collaborate together. He asked Dr. A. Zaid the network coordinator for the Date-Palm Global Network to make presentation on the network activities. Dr. Zaid presented information on the network background, objectives, membership, technical working groups, achievements and publications. He emphasized the importance of intensification of scientific cooperation, as well as the effective exchange of information and expertise.

Mrs Taraneh Ebrahimi presented the activities in the Inter-regional Cotton Network for Asia and North Africa (INCANA). She covered the background information on the network establishment by the three regional FORAs:AARINENA, APAARI and CACARI supported by GFAR, then she presented the progress publishing the second issue of E-Newsletter ,Publishing Success story and Making website bilingual (English, Russian) . She described the traveling workshop on Bt-Cotton conducted in India

Dr. Saleh Shdeifat presented the activities on the Regional Olive network which included the first annual network meeting held in Cyprus. In this meeting the members elected a new chairman of the board and reviewed the draft on olive Good agricultural Practices (GAP) for AARINENA countries and proposed division of labor for the participants for each chapter of the manual.

Dr. Mousa Fayad presented the progress made on the Regional Medicinal & aromatic Plants. He gave information about its establishment, focal points and the formation of new working groups. He described the first annual meeting of the Network held in Malta and the preparation of the work plan for the next two years.

Dr. Mohamed Al-Attar presented the activities of ICBA’s Inter-Islamic Networks on Biosaline Agriculture which include over 70 member countries, including AARINENA's member states. The network assists research institutions, extension education services and centers, NGO's, and the private sector at the national, regional, and international levels. It is worth noting that ICBA has made extensive efforts to make all the information of this network available to its member states. The network identifies effective irrigation methods, achieving a sustainable production of agricultural crops grown on high salinity soils with gene bank databases for salt-tolerant crops, as well as the evaluation of selected field crops grown under saline conditions.

Dr. Rupert Best reviewed the status on the Global Partnership for Building Smallholder Farmers’ Links to Growth Markets Position for the WANA region. He described the purpose of the presentation as to a) Inform about progress towards establishing WANA region’s participation in a Global Partnership Program on Linking Farmers to Markets and b) Secure support, when required, in the development of the program. He outlined the presentation to cover a) Global Partnership Programs (GPP) and the Linking Farmers to Markets initiative b) Origin and evolution of WANA region’s participation, c)The WANA region proposal and d) Next steps to be followed by Presenting the proposal at the inter-regional design workshop for the Global Partnership Program to be held in Cairo, September 2006.













AARINENA RAIS- ICM Advocacy Workshop

Improving information and communications management (ICM) at the National Agricultural Information Systems (NARS) and research institute level is critical for agricultural research for development (ARD). Efficient and effective use of information improves the quality of research which, in turn, contributes to better agricultural technology generation and use by farmers and producers. This contributes to improved farm productivity. At the moment, there is a perception that ICM is not receiving due attention in terms of investment as also where the investment should be directed for rapid improvement in information access and use.

Under the ICM4ARD Global Partnership Program Plan of Work, workshops to create awareness regarding investing in ICM and strengthening the capacity of NARS leaders and policy to advocate for increased and improved investment in ICM are being carried out by regional organizations.

The Workshop under the chairmanship of Dr. Ahmed Al-Bakri, was composed of three parts. In the first part the major stakeholders of AARINENA presented the status of ICM activities and future plans of work in the WANA region. In the second, NARS leaders and policy makers, through a group exercise, identified their needs in advocating for increased and improved investments in ICM for ARD. In the third, a plenary session, a set of activities that could be conducted by AARINENA to support the NARS leaders and policy makers in their advocacy role was identified for action by AARINENA.

Dr. Ibrahim Hamdan presented the objectives and potential outputs of the advocacy workshop. In his presentation, Dr. Hamdan stated that the WANA region is a food deficient area. Its population growth is higher than the global average. The need to reduce rural poverty and improve sustainable livelihoods for the rural population is urgent in the region. For rapid agricultural development, there is an urgent need to harness new technologies, especially biotechnology, materials science and information and communications technology. He stressed that these new technologies hold great potential to contribute to agriculture in the region through new seeds and germplasm, conserving natural resources, especially water and soil nutrients, and enabling effective use of knowledge.

Dr. Nihad Maliha of ICARDA in his presentation focused on the importance of using information and communications technology for agricultural research and development in the region. His presentation indicated how it has become important not to neglect the shift in the paradigm of agricultural research due to introduction of new ICTs.

Mr. Robert Portegies-Zwart of WAICENT, FAO, Rome presented recent initiatives in information and communications management for agricultural research and development, such as AGRIS, IMARK and AGORA. He also described the outcomes of an expert consultation of agricultural information systems held in Rome in October, 2005 and the formation of a global “new AGRIS Initiative” in which all major international agencies involved in improving information management for agricultural research are participating. Mr. Portegies-Zwart also distributed an IMARK CD-ROM on “Investing in Information for Development”.

On behalf of Dr. Enrica Porcari, Dr. Nihad Maliha presented the activities of the ICT-KM initiative of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He highlighted the changes the initiative is bringing in the CGIAR Institutes and the role the ICT-KM initiative is playing in the outcomes of the Expert Consultations held in Rome in October, 2005.

Dr. Ajit Maru of GFAR highlighted the activities under the ICM4ARD Global Partnership program and the GFAR draft Communication Strategy which includes reengineering EGFAR and developing an electronic document repository for GFAR.

Dr. Mohamed Salaam, Chairman of the AARINENA.RAIS Steering Committee presented the activities of AARINENA.RAIS. In his presentation, based on various country reports made at the recent General assembly of AARINENA.RAIS at Amman, Jordan in April 2006, he stated that while the ICT infrastructure in the NARS and in rural areas, especially telephony, was improving rapidly, the capacities to deal with electronic information within the region were very weak. He indicated that there is a need to increase and improve investment both in material resources and human skills in ICM. He stressed the need to develop capacity to generate agricultural information useful to farmers, especially in Arabic. He indicated the work plan of AARINENA.RAIS for the next 3 years and solicited support from the senior NARS leaders present at the assembly.

Dr. Mohamed Rafea of ARC, Egypt, presented a report on the ongoing activities in developing a National Agricultural Research Information Management System (NARIMS) which will be shared as a model and application within the region.

Ms. Taraneh Ebrahimi presented the new look of the AARINENA.RAIS website. She solicited support from the NARS leaders to share information in the region through the AARINENA.RAIS website.

In the second part of the workshop there was a Working Group Session of NARS leaders and policy makers. Mr. Robert Portegies-Zwart, Dr. Nihad Maliha, Dr. Mohamed Rafea and Dr. Ajit Maru facilitated the two working groups. The NARS leaders discussed what inputs they would need to advocate increased and improved investment in ICM in their respective NARS and ARI. The two groups came to the following needs:

• Ability to create a System-wide and Institutional vision for effective and efficient use of ICTs and improved ICM
• Support for Needs Assessment, Feasibility Studies and funding proposals for improving ICT use and ICM
• Support to identify appropriate infrastructure for the System and Institutes and funding support for infrastructure
• Human capacity development especially in managing information and communication through ICT enabled agricultural information systems, which require a blend of knowledge and skills related both to agriculture and ICT. The skills required are at various levels, especially management and managerial, and are not filled by current short term training approaches. A major issue in the NARS is also retaining good quality staff.
• Financial support as enabling effective use of ICTs and improving ICM in the NARS goes beyond buying computers and involves significant changes in policy, people, processes and procedures
• Establishing appropriate organizational structures for ICM in the NARS and Research Institutes

• Setting up a monitoring and evaluation process for:
o Information and communications management
o Resources and project management using ICTs in the NARS

In the Plenary Session, NARS leaders and policy makers indicated activities that AARINENA can undertake to support their advocacy for increased and improved investment in ICM in their NARS and ARIS:

• A workshop of NARS leaders and policy makers to identify and prioritize the needs for improving ICM in the WANA region for AARINENA to act on it
• A training workshop for NARS leaders and policy makers to enable them to improve their advocacy
• Supporting the NARS in developing concept notes, proposals and feasibility studies to improve ICM
• Enabling sharing and exchange of expertise on ICM in ARD within and outside the region
• Sharing evidence in the form of case studies and documents related to ICM for ARD in the region
• Identifying champions for ICM in the region

The Advocacy Workshop ended with concluding remarks by the Chairperson. Dr. Ibrahim Hamdan thanked the Chairperson and the Rapporteur for their excellent management and contributions to the Workshop.












Administrative Issues & Work Plan Session

The session was chaired by Dr. Magdy Madkour who summed up the response of the conference to the newly developed Regional PGR Conservation Strategy for WANA initiated by the Global Crop Biodiversity Trust. On the request of the Chairman, Dr. Hamdan introduced the constitutional amendments, a financial statement and a work plan for AARINENA and requested the approval by the Conference.







Constitutional Amendment:

1- All members present approved the amendment of Article X-1 regarding the Executive Secretary appointment by deleting the words; “from among the technical staff hosting the seat of the Association” thus making the appointment open to any competent staff from any member country.
2- All members reconfirmed approval of the AARINENA permanent seat being located at ICARDA’s office in Amman, Jordan.







Financial statement:

Financial Statement and audited report for the year 2004/2005 was presented and distributed to all members.










Work plan 2006/2007:

The Conference agreed to implement the work plan of those activities that have already secured funds and are in progress as follows:

i) Inter-regional Information and Communication Management for Agricultural Development (ICM4ARD)
ii) Establish New Water Use Efficiency and Biotechnology networks
iii) Support the ongoing Global Post Harvest Initiative (GPHI) in linking farmers to markets in the four commodity networks

With regard to the Global Crop Biodiversity Trust the conference:

o Welcomes and supports the initiative of the Global Crop Biodiversity Trust for the development of a Regional Conservation Strategy for the WANA Region, with the widest country representation from the region,
o Endorses in principle the establishment of the of the Regional Conservation Strategy for the WANA Region under the umbrella of AARINENA allowing it to develop further with the support of AARINENA member countries,
o Includes the further development of the strategy and related networking capacities in future AARINENA work plans leading to a plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) coordinating mechanism for the WANA Region,
o Urges the donors’ community to secure the financial for a successful implementation of the Strategy.”

Dr. Christos Papacrhristforou pointed out the lack of animal-oriented activities. Animal production is not presently included in any of AARINENA work plan activities. Livestock production is a significant contributor to CDP and genetic diversity. Animal production is very important in the Maghreb region. Dr Madkour stated that ICARDA recognizes the contribution of livestock in the WANA region. ICARDA is committed to work in the area in particularly small ruminants. A lot of work has been done on plants but little work was dome on animals. The members agreed to start discussing to identify themes of interest for animal production.
















Election of the New Executive Committee of AARINENA

The Nomination Officer declared that according to rules of procedure, the sub-regional representatives elected five members from their respective sub-regions as follows:

Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria representatives elected Dr. Majd Jamal from Syria as Mashreq sub-regional representative.
Libya, Malta, Morocco and Tunisia representatives elected Eng. Adnan Gibriel from Libya as Maghreb sub-regional representative.
Egypt, Sudan and Yemen representatives elected Dr. Ismail Muharram as Nile Valley and Red Sea sub-regional representative.
Kuwait, Oman and UAE representatives elected Dr. Ahmad N. Al Bakri from Oman as the Arabian Peninsula sub regional representative.

Then the conference moved to the election of the President, Vice President by secret ballot. The results were: Dr. Ahmed El-Bakri, from Oman, was elected as President of AARINENA and Dr. Ismail Muharram, from Yemen, was elected as Vice President.

The Newly Elected Executive Committee members are:

1. Dr.Ahmad Nasser Al Bakri (Arabian Peninsula), President,
2. Dr. Ismail Muharram (Nile Valley & Red Sea), Vice-President,
3. Dr. Majd Jamal (Mashreq Sub-region), Member
4. Eng. Adnan Gibriel (Maghreb Sub-region), Member.
















Date and Venue of the 11th General Conference of AARINENA

The 11th General Conference of AARINENA will be held in Syria in June 2008 and the12th General Conference will be held in Libya in 2010.








The Newly-Elected Executive Committee Meeting

The newly-elected executive committee met at the end of the conference under the chairmanship of Dr. Ahmad Al-Bakri and took the following decisions:

1- WANA delegation to GFAR 2006 in November 2006 in India will be composed of the following:

o AARINENA Executive Committee Members
o AARINENA Network Coordinators
o AARINENA ICT Steering Committee Members;
o NGO Representatives
o Farmers Representatives
o University Representatives

2- With Regard to the work plan, it was agreed to implement those activities which have already secured funds and are in progress as follows:
o Inter-regional Information and Communication Management for Agricultural Development (ICM4ARD)
o Establish New Water Use Efficiency and Biotechnology networks Dr. M. Jamal indicated that he will contact Mr. Abdel-Kareem Al-Amiri regarding the support for the Biotechnology Network
o Support the ongoing Global Post Harvest Initiative (GPHI) in linking farmers to markets in the 4 commodity networks

3- With Regard to the activation of the role of sub-regional representatives in promoting AARINENA membership and activities within their sub-regions. Dr. Majd Jamal indicated that he will contact the 4 universities in Syria to seek their membership to AARINENA and requested application forms. Dr. Hamdan indicated that the forms could be taken from AARINENA Website under Governance. Other members promised to support AARINENA activities in their Sub-regions.

4- With the regard to Inter-regional Collaboration it was noted that the above planned activities in the work plan have an inter-regional collaboration element such as ICM4ARD and GPHI

5- With Regard to the West Asia sub-regional representative and in order to conform to AARINENA Constitution, the Committee requested the secretariat to address Pakistan which is a full member of AARINENA to nominate a representative to the committee to serve as an observer. In case they do not respond within one month another letter will be sent to Iran to nominate their representative to the Committee as an observer.

6- Venue and date of AARINENA 11th General Conference, the Committee agreed to the offer by Dr. Majd Jamal Mashreq sub-region representative to host the 11th AARINENA general conference in Syria in May-June 2008 and the offer by Eng. Adnan Gebriel, Maghreb Sub-region representative to host AARINENA 12th General Conference in Libya in 2010.

7- The Committee agreed on the following tentative schedule of meetings:
- Executive Committee Meeting in conjunction of GFAR 2006 Conference, November 2006 in New-Delhi, India.
- Executive Committee Meeting in Aleppo – Syria May 2007 in conjunction with ICARDA 30 Year anniversary meeting.
- Executive Committee Meeting In Libya in December 2007.
- Executive Committee Meeting in Damascus –Syria, May-June 2008 in conjunction with AARINENA 11th General Conference.

At the end of the meeting the President thanked the Government of Yemen represented by AREA for hosting the General Conference and for the excellent arrangement for the meeting. He also thanked all members and participants for their fruitful discussions and contributions.















List of Participants

Member Countries & Institutions:

Dr. Christos Papachristoforou
Senior Agricultural Research Officer
Agricultural Research Institute
Ministry of Agriculture,
Natural Resources and Environment
P. O. Box 22016, 1516 Nicosia, Cyprus
Tel: +357 22 403122
Fax: +357 22 3167770

Prof. Dr. Tag El-Din Shehab El-Din
Vice President of Agricultural Research Center
9 Gamaa st.,
Giza 12619 Egypt
Tel: +202-5734447
Mobile: +20-10-6969264
Fax: +202-5714959

Dr. Mahmoud Rafea
Director of CLAES, ARC,
Gamaa st., Giza - Egypt
Tel: +202-3317615

Mrs. Taraneh Ebrahimi
Tabank Ave., Charlan Highway, Tehran, Iran
Tel: +98-21-22414338
Fax: +98-21-22400067

Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Kasrawi
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture
University of Jordan
Tel: +962-6-5355000 Ext.: 2523
Mobile: +962-777 490545
Fax: +962 6 5355577

Dr. Mousa Fayyad
National Center for Research and Technology Transfer (NCARTT)
P.O.Box 639 Baqaa-19381 Amman – Jordan
Tel: +962-6-4726680
Fax: +962-6-4726099

Dr. Saleh Shdeifat
National Center for Research and Technology Transfer (NCARTT)
P.O.Box 639 Baqaa-19381 Amman – Jordan
Tel: +962-6-4726680
Fax: +962-6-4726099

Dr. Yousif Al-Shayji,
Manager/Biotechnology Department
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)
P. O. Box: 24885
Safat 13109
Tel: +965-4836100/5500-5501
Fax: +965-4836637

Mr. Faisal Yousif Al Sadeeki
Deputy Director General of Plant Resources
Public Authority of agriculture Affairs and Fisheries (PAAF)
POBOX: 21422
Safat 13075 Kuwait
Fax: 965-4765551

Mr. Adal abdulaziz Al Shuhab
Head of the Experimental and Laboratory sector
Wafra agriculture administration
Public Authority of agriculture Affairs and Fisheries (PAAF)
POBOX: 21422
Safat 13075 Kuwait
Fax: 965-4765551

Dr. Michel Afram
President and Director of General of Lebanese
Agricultural Research Institute (LARI)
Tal Amara, Rayak,
P. O. Box Zahle 287
Tel : +961-8-901575 & 901576
Fax : +961-8-900077

Dr. Adnan Faraj Gibriel
Director General of
Agricultural Research Center, ARC
P.O.Box 2480, Tripoli, Libya
Tel: +218 -913233462
Fax: +218 21 3614993

Dr. George Attard
Director, Institute of Agriculture
University of Malta, Msida 06 Malta
Tel: +356-23402322
Fax: +356-2340221/21322230

Dr. Bouchaib Boulanouar
Director of Scientific Division
National Agronomic Research Institute
P. O. Box 415 Rabat,
Tel: +212-37770955
Fax: +212-37770049

Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al-Bakri
Director of Agriculture Production Research Center
Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries
P.O. Box 50, P C. 121
Seeb - Sultanate of Oman
Mobile: +968-99-359797
Fax: +968 24695909

Dr. Ahmed Abu Tawahina
Director of General Management for
Socio Economic Research
Ministry of Agriculture
P. O. Box 209, Jericho, Palestine
Tel: +970-599-617201
Fax: 970-2-2321926

Prof. Elsadig Suliman Mohamed
Deputy Director General,
Agricultural Research Corporation
P. O. Box 126
Wad Medani, Sudan
Tel: +249-511-842226
Fax: +249 511 843213

Dr. Majd Jamal
Director General,
General Establishment for Agricultural
Scientific Research,
Ministry of Agriculture,
P. O. Box 113, Douma, Damascus
Tel : +963-11-5741940
Fax: +963-11-5757992

Dr. Habib Amamou
Director General
Institution de la Recherche
Et de l’Enseignement Superieur Agricoles (IRESA)
30 rue Alain Savary
1002 Tunis
Tel : +216-71-791056
Fax : +216-71-796170

Dr. Abdallah Al-Aboudi
Ministry of Environment and Water
P.O Box: 1509, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Fax: +971-42957766

Dr. Ismail Muharram.
Chairman of Agricultural Research &
Extension Authority, AREA.
Sana'a PO BOX : 87148
Tel: +967-6-509413
Mobile: +967-737-25298
Fax: +967-6-6423913
Mobile: +967-733-725298

Dr. Mohammed Sallam
Director of Ext. Programs
P. O. Box: 87148
AREA, Dhamar, Yemen
Tel:+967-6-423913 or +967-77301426


Dr. Abdel Nabi Fardous
President of AARINENA
Director General
National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer (NCARTT)
P. O. Box 639
Baqaa 19381 Jordan
Tel: +962-6-4726680
Fax: +962-6-4726099

Dr. Ibrahim Hamdan
AARINENA Executive Secretary
P. O. Box 950764 Amman 11195 Jordan
Tel: +962-6-5525750
Fax: +962-6-5525930

Eng. Suleiman Awaji
Head of AOAD Office

Dr. Raj Paroda
Executive Secretary APAARI
39 Phra Nakorn
Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Tel: +662-697-4371/2
P. O. Box: 4564
Tashkent 700 00
Tel: +99 87 11372169
Fax: +99 87 11207125

Dr. Hashim AlShami
FAO Representative
Sana’a –Yemen

Dr. Robert Portegies Zwart
Information Systems Officer
WAICENT Capacity Building and Outreach Branch
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla – 00100 Rome
Fax: +39-06-57054049
Tel: +39-06-57056171

Ms M. Wopereis-Pura
Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary
FARA Headquarters
2 Gowa Close, Roman Ridge
PMB CT 173 Cantonments
Accra, Ghana
Tel: +233 21 773676

Belarmino Emilio Ruz
Executive Secretary PROCISUR
Regional Specialist in T&I - IICA
Luis P. Piera 1992, Piso 3
11200 Montevideo, Uruguay
Tel.: (+598 2) 4101676
Fax: (+598 2) 4101780

Prof. Dr. Adel El-Beltagy
GFAR Chair
Cairo, Egypt
c/o ICARDA Cairo office
Tel: +202-5724358
Fax: +202-572099

Dr. Olanrewaju Smith
Executive Secretary
Global Forum for Agricultural Research Secretariate
Viale delle Term di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel.: +39 06 5705 3413
Fax: +39 06 5705 3898

Dr. Rupert Best
Global Forum for Agricultural Research
c/o FAO, SDR
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39-06-57054475 (direct), 57055606
Fax: +39-06-57053898

Dr. Ajit Maru
GFAR Secretariate
Viale delle Term di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel.: +39 06 5705 3413
Fax: +39 06 5705 3898

Mr. Julian Gonsalves
GFAR External Reviewer

Mr. Dominique Hounkonnou
GFAR External Reviewer

Heifer Internaitonal
Dr. Eduardo Sabion
Country Director
Heifer Internaitonal Philippines
907 St. Center Tower
2206 Market Street
Madrigal business Park 1771 Alaban
Muntinlupa 1771
Tel: +63 2 8096829
Fax: +63 2 8077104

Dr. Mahmoud Solh
Director General
P. O. Box: 5466 Aleppo, Syria
Tel: +963 21 2225517/2231330
Fax: +963 21 2225105/2213490

Dr. Magdi Madkour
Assistant Director General
International Cooperation
P. O. Box: 5466 Aleppo, Syria
Tel: +963 21 2225517/2231330
Fax: +963 21 2225105/2213490

Dr. Nihad Maliha
Library and information Services Manager
P. O. Box: 5466
Aleppo, Syria
Tel: +963 21 2225517/2231330
Fax: +963 21 2225105/2213490

Dr. Mohammed Al Attar
Chairman, Board of Directors
Director General
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture
P. O. Box: 14660 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 3361100
Fax: +971 4 3361155

Prof. Dr. Faisal K. Taha
Director of Technical Programs
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture
P.O. Box: 14660 Dubai United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 3361100
Fax: +971 4 3361155

Mr. Jack Wilkinson
International Federation of Agricultural Producers
60 Rue St. Lazare
75009 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 45260553
Fax: +33 1 48787212

Dr. Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa
Director, International Service for National Agricultural Research Division
International Food Policy Research Institute
P. O. Box: 5689
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel.: +251-11-6462325
+251-11-6463215 ext. 280
Mobile: +251-91-1749155

Dr. George Ayad
Regional Director (IPGRI)
Regional Office for Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA
c/o ICARDA P. O. Box 5466
Tel: +963-21-2231412
Fax: +963-21-2273681

Prof. Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid
Chief Technical Adviser / Director
Date Palm Research & Development Programme
United Nations Office for Project Services - UNOPS
UAE University,
P. O. Box: 81908, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Tel: +971 3 7832334
Mobile: +971 50 6633598
Fax: +971 3 7832472

Dr. Mohamed Zehni
International Agriculture Studies
149, Triq il-Qasam,
Swieqi, STJ 11 Malta,
Telefax: +356-21375479













Agenda of 10th General Conference of AARINENA
Sana’a- Yemen 25-27 June 2006

Sunday 25, June 2006

08:30-09:00 – Registration

09:00-10:00 Opening Session:

Statement by the President of AARINENA
Statement by IPGRI Director General
Statement by FAO/RNE ADG
Statement by ICARDA Director General
Statement by GFAR Chair
Statement by H.E. the Prime Minister of the Government of Yemen

10:00 -10:30 Reception

ِِِِAARINENA Activities Session: Chairman: Dr. A. Fardous

10:30 -10:45 Adoption of the Agenda and Timetable
Election of Reporter and Nomination Officer
10:45 -11:10 AARINENA Activity Report (2004-2005), Dr. I. Hamdan
11:10 -11:25 Arabian Peninsula Sub-Region Activity, Dr. A. Al-Bakri
11:25 -11:40 Maghreb Sub-Region Activity, Dr. H. Narjisse/Dr. B. Boulanouar Bouleunwar
11:40 -11:55 Nile Valley & Red Sea Sub-Region Activity, Dr. I. Muharram
11:55 -12:10 West Asia Sub-Region Activities, Dr. M. Roozitalab

12:10 -12:30 Coffee Break

Inter-Regional Cooperation Session : Chairman: Dr. A. El-Beltagy

12:30 -12:45 Inter-Regional Cooperation Next steps, Dr. Ola Smith
12:45 -13:00 Farmers’ Perspective to Agricultural Research, IFAP President
13:00 -13:15 Regional Conservation Strategy for WANA Region: An Initiative by the Global Crop Biodiversity Trust, Dr. M. Zehni
13:15 -13:30 Inter-Regional Cooperation, APAARI/AARINENA, Dr. R. Paroda
13:30 -13:45 Inter-Regional Cooperation, FARA/AARINENA, Dr. M. Jones
13:45 -14:00 Inter-Regional Cooperation, FORAGRO/AARINENA, Dr. E. Ruz
14:00 -14:15 Strengthening Impact Orientation of Agricultural Research for Development in Africa, Dr. W. Kisamba-Mugerwa

14:15 -15:15 Lunch Break

Networks Activities Session: Chairman: Dr. M. Solh

15:15 -15:30 Date Palm Global Network, Dr. A. Zaid
15:30 -15:45 Inter-Regional Cotton Network, Mrs.A. Gharedaghli/ Mrs.T. Ebrahimi
15:45 -16:00 Olive Network, Dr. B. Karray/Dr. Shedeifat
16:00 -16:15 Medicinal & Aromatic Plants Network, Dr. M. Fayyad
16:15 -16:30 Inter-Islamic Networks on Biosaline Agriculture, Dr. M. Al-Attar
16:30 -16:50 Improving Rural Livelihood through Linking Small Holder Farmers
to Markets in the WANA Region, Dr. R. Best/Dr. A. Zaid
16:50 -17:00 Election Announcement by the Nomination Officer

19:30 Dinner hosted by H. E. Minister of Agriculture, Yemen

Monday 26 June 2006

Advocacy Workshop

RAIS –ICT/ICM Session: Chairman: Dr. A. Al-Bakri

08:30 - 08:45 Goal, Purpose and Potential Use from the RAIS Advocacy Session, Dr. I. Hamdan
08:45 - 09:00 Briefing Paper Presentation of importance of ICT use in ARD, Dr. N. Maliha, ICARDA
09:00 - 09:15 Presentation on ICT/IM FAO Activities, Mr. Zwart
09:15 - 09:30 Presentation on CGIAR Activities, Ms. E. Pociari
09:30 - 09:45 Presentation on GFAR Activities, Dr. A. Maru
09:45 -10:00 Status of ICT-RAIS in the WANA Region, Dr. M.Sallam
10:00 -10:15 Development of prototype NARIMS, Dr. M. Rafea
10:15 -10:30 AARINENA –RAIS Web Site Enhancement Mrs. T. Ebrahimi
10:30 -10:45 FARA Approach to Regional Agricultural Information in learning System. Ms M. Wopereis-Pura

10:45 -11:00 Coffee Break

Advocacy Working Session: Chairman: Dr. I. Muharram

11:00 -12:30 Facilitated working session: led by a short briefing paper, and presentation to discuss issues raised by the NARS leaders related to ICT use to improve ARD. Dr. A Maru
12:30 -14:00 Working Session (Brainstorming) on what can the NARS and AARINENA do to improve efficient use of ICT in ARD and agricultural development.

14:00 -15:00 Lunch Break

Administrative Issues & Work Plan Session: Chairman: Dr. M. Madkour
15:00 -15:15 Constitutional Amendments
15:15 -15:30 Financial Statement
15:45 – 16:30 AARINENA Program of Work for 2006/2007

16:30 -16:45 Coffee Break

Election Session (Full Members Only): Chairman: Nomination Officer

16:45 -17:45 Election of the President and the Executive Committee Members
17:45 -18:00 Date & Venue of the 11th General Conference
18:00 Closure

Tuesday 27 June, 2006

8:30 -9:30 New Elected Executive Committee (Closed Meeting)
9:30 -16:30: Field Trip


















Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa(AARINENA)
Activity Report(2004/2005)
Presented to AARINENA 10th General Conference ,Sana’a – Yemen 25-27 June 2006

Table of Contents
1. AARINENA 9th General Conference
3. Highlights of the Progress
3.1 AARINENA Regional Agricultural Information System (RAIS)
3.2 AARINENA Web Site
3.3 ICT SC to Strengthen WANA- RAIS
3.4 Inter-Regional Information and Communication Technology Consultation Meeting
4. Networks
4.1 Date Palm Global Network (DPGN)
4.2 Inter-Regional Cotton Network in Asia and North Africa (INCANA)
4.3 Olive Oil Network
4.4 Medicinal & Aromatic Network
4.5 Water Use Efficiency
4.6 Biotechnology Network
5. Implementation of the Global Post Harvest Initiative
6. Publications
6.1 Newsletter
6.2 Success Stories
6.3 Proceedings of Meetings
7. Workshops, Training Courses & Expert Consultation Meetings
8. Conclusions









The Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA), was established in 1985 as an autonomous body on the basis of the recommendations of the 14th and the 16th FAO Regional Ministerial Conferences. Its main goal is to act as an instrument of change for strengthening national and regional agricultural research capacities in order to reverse the downward trends in agricultural productivity and the deterioration of the natural resources.

AARINENA’s Mission is to contribute to the enhancement of agricultural and rural development in member countries through fostering agricultural research and technology development and by strengthening collaboration among them and with the outside world. AARINENA endeavors to assist member countries in creating effective national agricultural research systems that serve the goals of sustainable agricultural development, as well as strengthening regional and sub-regional scientific collaboration. In accordance with its mission, the association has acted as a collaborator and partner with other relevant regional and international institutions and recognized by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) as an important and formal regional association representing the WANA region in global research community.

In this report the major activities of the association for 2004/2005 will be presented. They include the Executive Committee meetings (following the 9th General Conference), Regional Agricultural Information System (RAIS), Regional Networks, Global Post-Harvest Initiative (GPhI), publications and workshops and training courses.
For presentation by Ibrahim Hamdan, AARINENA Executive Secretary, to the 10th General Conference of AARINENA 25-27th of June Sana’a-Yemen







1. AARINENA 9th General Conference:

AARINENA 9th General Conference was held at the Sultanate of Oman between 11-13 April, 2004. It was inaugurated by H.E. the Special Advisor to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Sayed. The conference was co-sponsored and supported by AARINENA, ICARDA, GFAR and FAO and attended by representatives from 20 member institutions and 12 regional and international organizations. The 9th General Conference elected the following officers representing the five sub regions to serve in the executive committee for the next 2 years: Dr. Abdel Nabi Fardous (Mashreq sub region) President; Dr. Ahmed AlBakry (Arabian Peninsula sub-region) Vice President; Dr. Hamid Narjisse (Maghreb sub-region) Member; Dr. Ismail Muharram (Nile Valley and Red Sea Sub-region) Member and Dr. Mohammed Roozitalab (West Asian sub-region) Member.

The work program 2004-2005 that was adopted by the conference includes:

1.1- Strengthening Regional Agricultural Information System (RAIS) through:
- Enhancing AARINENA Web Site
- Publication of AARINENA Newsletter
- Implementation of RAIS Priority Projects:

1.2- Networks
- Supporting the activities of commodity networks (Date-Palm, Cotton, Olive and Medicinal & Aromatic Plants)
- Establishing New Networks on Biotechnology

1.3- Publication of Success Stories

1.4- Implementation of the Global Post Harvest Initiative

1.5- Strengthen Inter-regional Cooperation

1.6- The conference empowered the Executive Committee to take decisions regarding the following issues: i) AARINENA Account Transfer ii) Secretariat Seat and iii) Membership Fees.









2. AARINENA Executive Committee Meetings:

AARINENA Executive Committee held three meetings after the 9th General Conference: one in Muscat, Oman in April 2004, the second in Marrakech-Morocco, December 2004, and the third in Sana’a-Yemen, September 2005. These meetings reviewed the progress of the work plan and the adopted budget by the 9th General Conference of AARINENA. The Committee recommended and took the following decisions:

2.1 AARINENA Account:
Upon the request of FAO/RNE, The committee approved the transfer of the account to AARINENA Secretariat in Jordan with the option of transferring it to ICARDA later.

2-2. AARINENA Seat:
The committee requested bids from the members to host the permanent seat of AARINENA providing all operational logistics.

2.3. Membership Issues:
The Committee recommended increasing the fees to $3000 for Full Members; $ 2000 for Associate Members and to $5000 for Regional & International Organizations.

2.4. Web Site
The committee requested to enhance the Website and to develop an Arabic version.

2.5. Approved the establishment of “Water Use Efficiency Network” in collaboration with ICARDA and GFAR, and to follow up on establishing the “Biotechnology Network”.

2.6. To open an account with ICARDA and deposit part of the funds in the account

2.7. The Executive Committee approved IFAP associate membership in AARINENA Governing Bodies according to Article V of the constitution and full membership in the networks.

2.8. The committee proposed a constitutional amendment for Article XI-1 regarding the Executive Secretary appointment by deleting the words; “from among the technical staff hosting the seat of the association” thus making the appointment open to any staff from any member country.

2.9. With regard to AARINENA Secretariat Seat, the Committee reviewed the offers received from the seven member countries and recommended that ICARDA to host the secretariat in order to provide long term stability.












3. Highlights of the Progress

3.1. AARINENA Regional Agricultural Information System (RAIS)
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an essential component for development, not only of the agricultural sector, but also of industrial, environmental, and service sectors as well.

Addressing the development of the agricultural sector through the enhancement of information and communication technology was put as an urgent priority for AARINENA. The formation of the ICT Steering Committee, which proved to be fruitful, launching a set of databases, and addressing the training needs are good examples of the continuous efforts of AARINENA to improve the abilities and enhance the capabilities of its member countries, to achieve sustainable agricultural development. There is no doubt that information system development requires intensive and integrated efforts by all countries to achieve the goals and objectives set by the steering committee. The fact that cannot be denied is that the development of the ICT sector must be backed-up and supported by political commitment of all members.

3.2 AARINENA Web Site:
§ AARINENA RAIS-Web Site ( operating from AREO, Iran in collaboration with GFAR.
§ The Arabic version of AARINENA RAIS-Web Site has been completed and the English version was enhanced in collaboration with FAO/RNE.

3.3. ICT Steering Committee to strengthen WANA-RAIS:
The Committee includes representatives from AARINENA five sub regions and representatives from AOAD, FAO, GFAR and ICARDA. The committee held two meetings to prepare RAIS strategy and to review the achieved progress.

3.3.1. AARINENA facilitated and supported the second meeting of the AARINENA ICT committee that was held in September 2004, in Iran, during which the committee reviewed and approved AARINENA ICT strategy which consists of the following:

• Framework of action to develop the WANA-RAIS
• Implementation plan
• Collaborative programs

3.3.2. ICT-RAIS General Assembly meeting was held April 2006, in Amman-Jordan:

• The Assembly elected new ICT Steering Committee.
• Updated ICT-RAIS country profiles was reported

Working plan for the coming three years will be as follows:

• Identifying focal points in the member countries
• Preparation of terms of reference for the concerned focal points
• Use of GIS in improving data processing and data use
• Consolidating the preparation of ICT national strategies and policies
• Articulating outputs from the former steering committee particularly suite of tools for NAIS.
• Thematic linkages with RAIS
• Human capacity building programs
• Measure impact of ICT on agricultural development
• Advocacy issues.

3.4. Inter-Regional Information and Communication Technology Consultation Meeting:
The 2nd Inter-Regional Consultation Meeting on ICT was sponsored by GFAR held in Cairo, Egypt during the period from the 10-11 May, 2005 to enable RAIS stakeholders of Regional For a to a) present and discuss their respective regional plan of work and budget for 2005 in the area of ICM for ARD and the development of their RAIS ;b) take stock of existing initiatives and discuss fresh initiatives from the Regional Fora in the area of ICM for ARD in order to launch collaborative platforms between and amongst RAIS; c) define priorities for GFAR financial support for regional and inter-regional activities within collaborative platforms; d) define a consistent output oriented list of activities and related budget for each of these collaborative platforms that either GFAR Secretariat can support within its own 2005 POW&B or define complementary proposals, consistent with the ICM4ARD proposals leading to fund raising activities where GFAR Secretariat could play a leading role.

The workshop, as a part of the consultation process, considered the issues that arose from the various presentations made during the meeting and consolidated them as being around the following topics:

Development of NAIS
Sensitization and awareness of NARS Leaders, as a specific component of advocacy for ICT enabled agricultural information systems
Capacity Development for ICM from the point view of Regional Fora
Governance of the activities under ICM4ARD framework.

Group discussions were held to discuss the activities of the Inter-Regional collaboration. Recommendations emerged during the concluding plenary session that include the following:

a. Strengthening Agro Web CAC as basis for the CACAARI-.RAIS, based on the proposal presented during the consultation;
b. A Regional Workshop for National Information Nodal Points (NINPs) in APAARI Region;
c. Publication of regional ICM success stories by APAARI;
d. Supporting sensitization and awareness building of NARS leaders on ICT/ICM issues in Sub-Saharan Africa.
e. NARS discussion platform;
f. Assessment of information management policies and systems in each country and sub-region of Latin America and the Caribbean;
g. Support to AARINENA-RAIS for the renewal of its Steering Committee.

The Inter-Regional or global activities for further consolidation and possible GFAR support was as follows:

Inter-regional proposal based on AARINENA-RAIS and InfoSys + pre-proposal for initiating inter-regional sharing and exchange of experiences, skills and tools between AARINENA-RAIS and InfoSys +, leading to the development of NAIS. A complementary WISARD proposal is expected to strengthen this collaborative platform.

The first phase of this proposal has two objectives: a) develop an electronic community at the regional level and b) develop a set of tools that facilitate the development of NARIS.

The three main outputs of the first objective of the first phase are:

a. Establishing a methodology for developing the information management modules,
b. Developing software tools to be used by different NARS’s to build the NARIS’s, and
c. Training participants from the three regions on using methodology and tools.

The second phase has also two objectives: a) implementing NARIS in all research institutions members and b) building a Gateway function that has multi-host data base search engine.












4. Networks

Technical cooperation networks have become an increasingly important means of action which was initiated and supported by AARINENA in collaboration with GFAR. These networks have become a generic model for the establishment of functional mechanisms for collaboration and enhancement of communication and exchange of experiences among different countries in one region and/or different regions of the world.

Networks are found to reduce duplicative efforts among national institutions in several countries and to provide a cost-effective instrument for information exchange and institution building (including training). When the resources are limited, networks become more effective means for the optimal utilization of indigenous expertise and available resources among the countries themselves.

Given the current status of some important commodity crops, and in the absence of a coordinating body for the promotion of cooperation among these countries for the optimal utilization of limited available resources for the development of the commodity crops agro-industry, the establishment of a Technical Cooperation Network on these crops is a matter of urgency.

AARINENA established four commodity crops of particular importance to this region: Date Palm, Cotton, and Olive and Medicinal and Aromatic plants. The highlights of the progress on these Networks are as follows:
4.1 Date Palm Global Network (DPGN)
4.2 Inter-Regional Cotton Network in Asia and North Africa (INCANA)
4.3 Olive Oil Network
4 .4 Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Network (MAP)

4.5 Water Use Efficiency Network

4.6 Biotechnology Network











4.1 Date Palm Global Network (DPGN):
AARINENA and FAO organized an expert consultation to study the feasibility of establishing a Date Palm Network for technical cooperation and to draft the objectives and guidelines of the network. The meeting took place in Tehran, Iran, during the period 13 – 14 October 1999, with the participation of scientists from: Egypt, Iran, Libya, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia, U.A.E., Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Pakistan. The consultation was hosted by the Iranian Government. The outcome of the meeting was presented in the Date Palm International Symposium that was held in Namibia, February 22 -25, 2000. The program included a special session to discuss the network under the auspices of the FAO. It was an important component of the Date Palm International Symposium, which was held in Namibia, 22 - 25 February 2000, and was organized by the Date Production Support Program in Namibia with the technical and financial support of FAO.

The Network’s establishment meeting, held during 7–9 April, 2002 in Al Ain/UAE, finalized the terms of reference of each the coordinating board. The General coordinator, the working groups, and regional coordinators. During the same meeting, the structure of the network was also adopted. The constitution document, as well as the project document of the DPGN, were discussed and adopted during the first technical meeting of the Coordinating Board, which was held in Cairo, Egypt during 10– 11 June, 2003.

Network Activities:

1- The First Date Palm Exhibition was held in Al Ain City / UAE during 21 – 23 November 2004.The exhibitions was under the patronage of H.H Chancellor of The UAE University. The Friends Society of Date-Palm co-sponsored the organization of this exhibition in collaboration with the producers and processors of dates from all centers inside and outside UAE to achieve the following goals:

§ Knowing the current status for grown palms, and to view the best and date rare varieties;
§ Identify the problems facing production and processing of dates and investigate the best solutions that improves encourage the date’s production and processing sector
§ Showing the output of applying the latest techniques.

2- The Date Palm Global Network (DPGN) organized an international workshop on True-To-Type-ness of Date Palm Tissue Culture-Derived Plants in Morocco during 23-25 May, 2005. Scientists from 14 countries attended the workshop.

The workshop aimed at updating the magnitude of tissue culture abnormalities and developing a program of future activities. Presentations from various date growing countries illustrated these variations which were focused on: dwarfism, pollination failure and abnormal fruiting, abnormal morphology of the tree and the leaves, twisted inflorescences and offshoots, leaf whitening and delayed flowering time. Both commercial laboratories and the research units dealing with date palm in vitro propagation were addressed. Moreover, the workshop provided an opportunity to present and compare the date producing countries experiences and to foster international technical cooperation. The participants recommended the following:

• Most of the abnormalities of tissue culture-derived date palms are of a small incidence (less than 5 %). They were classified into three categories: i) Dwarfism, ii) Parthenocarpic fruits and iii) Morphological problems
• Tissue culture is certainly the most appropriate tool to provide the needs of date palm plants.
• Create a web site to be linked to the DPGN web site.
• Strengthening collaboration between commercial laboratories and research units and ensuring the continuous exchange of information.
• With regard to future activities, the following initiatives were adopted:
a. Develop a reliable marker to identify the dwarfism and the parthenocarpy phenomenon.
b. Develop a data base of the date palm cultivars and abnormalities.
c. Collaborative approach to provide solutions to clonally fidelity issues.
d. Refine micro propagation protocols to eliminate factors inducing variations.

3- The Network organized the Third International Date Palm Conference that was held 19-23 February, 2006 under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of United Arab Emirates under the auspices of UAE University. The Conference which was attended by approximately 300 participants, calls attention to an important crop with significant production and marketing issue. It will greatly enrich the world literature devoted to date palm through publication of the proceeding in Acta Horticulturae.











4.2 Inter-Regional Cotton Network in Asia and North Africa (INCANA):
AARINENA, the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (APAARI) and Central Asian and Caucasian Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (CACAARI), recognizing the importance of cotton production in a number of developing countries in Asia and North Africa, producing more than half of the world's cotton production, and considering the prime role and importance of cotton in the agricultural economy with the support of GFAR and ICARDA established the Inter-regional Cotton Network, in October, 2002. The Cotton Research Institute of Iran at Varamin was selected to host the Network Secretariat. The objectives of the network are:

- Increasing cotton yield in member countries through research collaboration and exchange of scientific knowledge, success stories and new technologies.
- Providing a data base on cotton research production, and other related issues to be used by the member countries.
- Increasing the knowledge through implementation of collaborative research activities and training workshops on cotton related issues.
- Establishing close cooperation with other research networks on cotton in the world (such as Mediterranean Cotton Research Network).

Network Activities:

1- The Second Meeting of Inter-regional Cotton Network for Central Asia and North Africa (INCANA) was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 6-8 September, 2004. The meeting was organized by ICARDA-CAC Regional Office under the umbrella of CACAARI. The meeting was co-sponsored by GFAR, AARINENA, APAARI and CACAARI. 35 scientists participated in the meeting, including representatives from Iran, India Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Greece, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. The meeting was inaugurated by H.E. the Minister of Agriculture and Water Management of Uzbekistan. Country reports highlighted the problems and promising results in cotton research and development

2- Traveling Workshop on Hybrid and Bt Cotton: INCANA organized a” traveling workshop on Hybrid and Bt cotton in India” with the aim of Increasing knowledge and increasing collaborations between the member countries

India was selected because hybrid cotton technology is well established in India and 50% of area under cotton cultivation is covered by hybrids and Bt cotton, India is one of the pioneers in the world. MAHYCO, a leading private company in India agreed to provide internal financial support to the participants attending the workshop. The workshop was also supported by APAARI, AARINENA and GFAR. The representatives from India, Iran, Syria, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan attended this traveling workshop which was held from 20 to 26 November, in India.

The expected outputs of the workshop are:
- Evaluation and qualifying the technology used for Hybrid and BT cotton in India and compare it with other members.
- Finding the strengths and weaknesses of this technology
- Finding the ways of increasing collaborations among member countries on hybrid and Bt Cotton.











4.3 Olive Oil Network:
AARINENA has organized an expert consultation meeting at the olive tree Institute at Sfax-Tunisia during 16-18 of February, 2004. The meeting was supported by GFAR, FAO and ICARDA. Olive experts from research institutions and private sector of AARINENA olive producing countries; Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and from the European side: Spain, France, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Cyprus, attended the meeting which aimed to: a) Reviewing the current status of olive research in the participating countries; b) Electing a new coordinator for the olive network at ESCORENA; and c) Establishing AARINENA olive Network for the Near East and the North Africa countries.The meeting approved the establishment of regional cooperative Network for Olive to be hosted by the Olive Tree Institute at Sfax and recommended strengthen inter-regional cooperation by establishing linkages to the European System of Cooperative Research Networks in Agriculture (ESCORENA) . The participants formed three olive technical working groups as follows:
1. Olive production and protection group to be hosted by Egypt.
2. Post-harvest processing technologies to be hosted by Jordan.
3. Socio-economic and commercialization group to be hosted by Syria.

The focal points were selected from NGOs, Private sector, research institutions and universities. They will constitute the coordinating board of the network which met in Marrakech, Morocco, December 20-23,2004 to elect the chairman of the board and to approve the work plan for the network.

Network Activities:

4.3.1 AARINENA First Olive Network meeting was held in Marrakech, Morocco during the period 20 - 22 December 2004, in order to discuss and identify collaborative joint activities related to olive development in the Near East Region. This activity was supported by GFAR and FAO/RNE.

The meeting was attended by 22 participants representing FAO, AARINENA, ESCORENA, IPGRI, GFAR, in addition to AARINENA Olive Network Coordinator, working group coordinators and focal points from Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Morocco, and Cyprus.

Based on the round table discussions, participants agreed on the following recommendations:

Strengthening Inter-regional collaboration between Southern and Northern Mediterranean olive producing countries:

It has been agreed that one of the best ways to strengthen collaboration between South and North is to conduct joint activities, which can reflect common interests and therefore the AARINENA Olive Network has proposed the following steps to be undertaken for potential activities:

- Disseminate the results and/or findings of the on-going research and development projects in the EU to the AARINENA region to narrow the gap between north and south in R&D. Participants recognized that one of the major problems facing the implementation of these projects is lack of funds. Therefore it is very important for the inter-regional collaboration that both ESCORENA and AARINENA Olive Networks endeavour their maximum efforts in securing additional funds from interested donors to support the following:

Improve the quality of final products (table olives and olive oil).
Investigate and reinforce labeling requirements.
Exchange experts, experiences and knowledge in organic olive growing, biological control of pests and post harvest technologies.
Launch joint projects to emphasize the importance of traceability systems in the chain of olive production.
Develop manuals/guidelines for good agriculture practices (GAP).
Methods and means of minimizing and/or eradicating the negative impacts of the olive industry on environment.
Potentials of expanding, developing and improving olive cultivation on marginal lands.
Zone mapping of existing and potential areas of olive growing regions using GIS or other methods.
Develop the organizational structure of the olive industry in AARINENA sub-regional states using successful models applied in EU olive growing countries.
Establish common methodology for analyzing problems and initiating solutions.
Organize common seminars, workshops and training courses with emphases on farmers’ capacity building.
ESCORENA should continue strengthening the efforts of other institutions (FAO – IOOC – EU - IPGRI) to establish national, regional and global collection of germplasm.
Study the agronomic and oleotechnic behaviour of the new varieties derived by crossings from previous genetic breeding projects, particularly under drought and salinity conditions and to assess their resistance to pests and diseases.
ESCORENA and AARINENA will join efforts to re-publish in 2005 the OLEA News Letter in a new form. During the general round table discussions Dr. Rallo stated that the Spanish Government is willing to support the cost of re-publishing OLEA newsletter in 2005.
ESCORENA and AARINENA should strengthen contacts with other institutions and organizations such as CIHEAM, IOOC, EU, ISHS, COST, etc in order to organize common activities.

The Coordinators of both AARINENA and ESCORENA Olive networks will seek interested donors to sponsor any of the above mentioned projects. Priority for executing any of these projects will depend on the initial budget, the available funds and the degree of common interest between the two regions.

4.3.2 Guidelines on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Olive Producing Counties.
A workshop was organized by AARINENA, GFAR & FAO/RNE and hosted by the Agricultural Research Institute in Cyprus from 19-21 December 2005. The meeting was attended by participants from 11 counties: Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Palestine and Cyprus. Most the participants were members of AARINENA Olive Network and representative’s form ICARDA and ESCORENA.

The workshop was mainly dedicated to finalizing the guidelines on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for AARNENA olive producing counties. There were presentations on country profiles by Olive Network Focal Point Members and extensive discussions on the various chapters of the draft handbook on GAP by several working groups in order to modify and adapt the guidelines to the existing conditions of AARINENA countries.











4 .4 Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Network (MAP):
AARINENA organized an expert consultation meeting on medicinal and aromatic plants in conjunction with “the 11th International Conference on Marketing Strategies for Medicinal Herbs, Essential Oils and Functional Food Ingredients”. The meeting was held in Cairo, Egypt on September 30, 2004 under the patronage of H. E. the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and was supported by GFAR .The meeting was attended by experts from Egypt, Malta, Morocco, Jordan, Oman, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It was also attended by representatives from AARINENA, ESMAP, ICARDA, IPGRI, Private sector and NGO and universities. Participants presented the status of medicinal and herbal plants in their own countries, constraints on research and production and recommendations to support the establishment of a Regional Medicinal & Aromatic Plants Network.

The Participants adopted the proposed AARINENA Regional Network on Medicinal & Aromatic plants and selected the four technical working groups on: 1-: Conversation and Sustainable Use ,2-Agricultural Practices 3-Post Harvest Technology Group and 4-Commercialization and Scio-economic Group
Network Activities:

4.4.1 The first annual meeting for the network was held in Malta during 7-9 November 2005 in collaboration with the University of Malta and the support of GFAR. The meeting was divided into two sessions: the MAP Network annual meeting and the MAP link to the Industry session.
The MAP Network annual meeting was aimed at the organising the working groups and functions of focal points. This was an attempt to reorganize the network and hence making it more vital and efficient.

The link to the industry session was organized with the aim of familiarising participants with the European Union rules and conditions of agricultural practices, manufacturing and marketing leading to better quality assurance to the European consumer.

Participants included scientists from agricultural institutions in nine AARINENA member states: Egypt, Malta, Jordan, Sudan, Oman, Morocco, Iran, Syria and Yemen .The meeting was also attended by participants from the private sector dealing with the commercial potential of MAP within the European Union.


Participants restructured the networks as follows:
- Chairman of the Board : Dr. M Safwat and focal point of Egypt
- Network Secretary: Dr. Musa Fayyad the focal point of Jordan

-Technical working groups:

  Dr. Firas AlAli; Post Harvesting Working Group coordinator , Jordan
  Dr. Evaraldo Attard Socio-economic and Commercialisation group coordinator; Malta
  Dr. M. Boutfras Conservation and Use group coordinator , Morocco
  Dr. Awatif Serbil Agricultural Practices group coordinator ;Sudan

Network members discussed the working plan and agreed on the following activities to be carried in 2006:

Formulation of a questionnaire (Dr. E. Attard-Malta) that covers the current projects and tools present in member countries, including information related to the four working groups (key points – strengths and weaknesses). This will lead to the drafting of concept notes, at least one per working group, before February 2006.

Building the capacity of NARS in the area of MAPs through provision of technical advice and training on MAP operations [Dr. F. Alali/ Dr. M.Fayyad-Jordan].

Increase support to conservation, use of MAPs through public awareness strategy; [Website for MAPs and publishing it at AARINENA website info to be concluded by end of Dec. 2005 [Dr. F. Sefidkon-Iran]

Produce a brochure and a poster [Dr. M. Fayyad-Jordan] targeted at policy makers in order to attract new members to AARINENA.

Empowering/Strengthening of local communities to better use of MAPs to improve the livelihoods through provision of MAP information systems that document, analyze and share traditional knowledge and socio-economic studies on MAPs. IPGRI-GRIS can be used as modelling tool to establish this system [All focal points - Dr. K. Durah-IPGRI].

Establishing contact lists for MAPs [All focal points - Dr. M. Fayyad-Jordan].













4.5 Water Use Efficiency Network:
CWANA region suffers from water scarcity, quality decline, and inefficient use. This situation is worsened by frequent drought events.

While the Near East covers 14% of the total area of the world and home to 10% of its population, its water resources represent only 2% of the total renewable water resources of the world.

AARINENA Executive Committee recommended to establish a Water Use Efficiency Network to contribute to water saving, improvement and sustained productivity and quality through mobilization of existing knowledge and production of adapted technology packages.

A workshop on the assessment of plant genetic diversity for water use efficiency was held in Marrakech, Morocco during the period 10-12 October, 2005, and organized by IPGRI in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and AARINENA. The workshop was aimed at facilitating the exchange of experiences on the management of water under scarcity conditions through the use of "less-thirsty" genotypes.

Presentations and discussions underlined topics on the effect of irrigation deficit on olive trees, future vision of olive plantation and water use efficiency, genetic variation of water use efficiency within crops, increasing olive water-productivity, and water saving in orchards.

The participants recommended developing a regional research proposal by Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Syria to study the genetic variation of olive trees and assess their water use efficiency particularly in rain fed areas.

A meeting for the establishment of the Water Use Efficiency Network is planned in 2006.












4.6 Biotechnology Network:
The Agricultural and Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI) at ARC Egypt submitted a proposal to host a proposed Regional Biotechnology Network Follow up discussions with AGERI and ICARDA will be held on the proposed network during a planned meeting in 2006.









5. -Implementation of the Global Post Harvest Initiative (GPhI)

5.1 AARINENA planned a meeting on Global Post-Harvest Initiative which was held in Anatalya-Turkey March, 2005, to inform and sensitize participants to the scope and desired outputs of the Global Post Harvest Initiative, to share information on the objectives, strategies and activities of each of AARINENA’s commodity networks. It was attended by participants representing commodity network coordinators, post harvest working group leaders, GFAR, NGOs, farmers, FAO/ RNE, and the Executive Secretary of ARRINENA. During the meeting, four networks presentations on date palm, cotton, medicinal, and olive were made.

This meeting was under the auspices of Antalya University President and was organized by FAO and AARINENA with the support of GFAR at the University of Akdeniz, Antayla-Turkey.

The meeting was attended by 14 participants representing, the national agricultural research institutions in Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Oman, Palestine, Turkey, UAE and Yemen and attended also by AARINENA network coordinators and post harvest working groups, NGOs, and farmers’ representatives. The speakers highlighted the topics on marketing and trade of horticultural crops, packing and packaging, quality management, modified and controlled atmospheres, post harvest handling of cut flowers and apples. Fruitful tours to the laboratories of Akdeniz University, packing and packaging houses in Antalya were organized.

Discussions on current identification of common needs across networks were organized. An introduction to sub-sector and market chain analysis and approaches were addressed for identifying actors and Research and Development (R & D) service providers, Prioritizing value chains and the constraints that they face in improving competitiveness were discussed. Three working groups were met and highlighted the present status and perspective for the development of the commodities covered by AARINENA networks (date palm, cotton, olive, and medicinal and herbal plants). Strategic framework of the Global Post harvest initiative, to define specific intra- and cross-commodity opportunities and actors that could be the focus of a regional project within the framework of the GPh1 that builds on and improves the performance of the commodity networks.

The major outcome of the meeting was the prioritization of three project ideas (out of 9 ideas generated) with the designation of a responsible person for coordinating the completion of a concept note of 3 to 5 pages for each idea. Brief profiles of each idea were prepared as the basis for the development of the concept notes. The three project ideas that were identified are:

1. Market-orientation for the AARINENA networks and their members.
2. Innovative and effective market-oriented and demand-driven extension services.
3. Organic production of olive, cotton, dates and medicinal and aromatic plants.

5.2 The ad hoc committee for GPHI met in Al-Ain University-Abu-Dhabi on the 23rd of February 2006 to promote the three project ideas:.

It was found that the three ideas share similar elements that can provide the basis for a unified inter-regional proposal. Participants established prioritizing criteria for subsequent selection for commodities, countries and regions; that could become an integral part of an inter-regional program.

An action plan will be developed to serve as a background document and an input for the inter-regional project planning workshop, to be held in Cairo, September 11-15, 2006.

A project proposal was developed to link small farmers to market. The project aims at establishing pilot and localized projects of effective extensions and technology transfer systems and mechanism within the WANA region through incorporating successful agricultural practices.

Once implemented, the project will have a positive impact on farmers, growers’ associations and communities to both market and supply chains should be well equipped to make the appropriate decisions on products and markets. Another important change resulting from this project is that policy makers will be able to take appropriate actions for the development of the sub sectors.

Furthermore, traders, brokers, agents and distributors will have a clear knowledge about the sub-sectors, yielding a better competitiveness, hence, the role of each sub- sector within the respective national economy will consequently be strengthened.

Another aim is to activate the role of AARINENA networks and highlight the important role they can play in disseminating information and exchanging of success stories at the regional level.

The proposal aims to bringing together key stakeholders, in the development of profitable, equitable, and operational market and supply chains that fulfill the consumers demand for fairly traded commodity (dates, olives, cotton and medicinal plants), to develop a viable and enduring organic farming production schemes in the region and to create economic opportunities for low income rural producers.











6. Publications

6.1 Newsletter
6.2 Success Stories
6.3 Proceedings of Meetings










6.1 Newsletter:
Four issues of AARINENA Newsletter (February-2004, September-2004, May-2005 and November-2005) were published and distributed to all members, research institutions, and faculties of agriculture at universities in the region. The newsletters are available on AARINENA website.









6.2 Success Stories:
A success story from Oman on “Can we produce seed of indigenous pasture species in hot humid gulf climate to re-vegetate degraded lands” was published under AARINENA Publications: 2005/1.









6.3 Proceedings of Meetings:
• Proceedings of AARINENA General Conference, Executive Committee meetings, workshops and training courses were distributed and posted on AARINENA Home page.
• Setting Agricultural Research Priorities for CWANA Region
• AARINENA General Rules of procedure were published and circulated.
• Directories of agricultural Research Institutions in the WANA Region








7. Workshops, Training Courses & Expert Consultation Meetings:

1. AARINENA Executive Committee and Co-sponsors Meeting, Amman-Jordan 4-5 January 2004
2. Advanced post-Harvest Training course, NCARTT, Jordan 6-8 April, 2004
3. Regional workshop on Transfer of Technology, Muscat Oman 14-15 April, 2004
4. The 2nd Regional Fora Executive Secretaries Meeting, 17-18 May 2004, Rome, Italy
5. The 36th World Farmers’ Congress 29 May – 4 June 2004 Washington D.C., USA
6. The ISNAR-IFPRI Program Advisory Committee Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 7-9, 2004
7. ICT Steering Committee Meeting, AREO, Tehran-Iran, 6-7 September, 2004
8. Second annual Meeting of Inter-regional Network on Cotton (INCANA), 6-8 September, 2004 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
9. Executive Committee & Cosponsors Meeting, Marrakech- Morocco, December 2004
10. The 1st Olive Network Meeting, Marrakech-Morocco, 20-23 December 2004.
11. FAO/ICARDA workshop on Technical Support to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture – Creating an “Inter-sectoral” Amman, Jordan February 2005
12. The 3rd Post Harvest Training Course & Planning meeting for Global Post-harvest initiative, Antalya-Turkey, 22-25 March 2005
13. The 4th International Meeting of FORAGRO, Panama city ,13-15 April 2005
14. EFARD International Conference on Agricultural development, Zurich-Switzerland, 27-29 April 2005
15. Inter-regional ICT workshop, Cairo-Egypt 10-11 May 2005
16. The 3rd FARA General Assembly Entebbe-Uganda, 6-11 June 2005.
17. Workshop on “High Value Products for Smallholder Markets in the WANA region” Cali-Columbia 5-7 October, 2005
18. A workshop on the Assessment of plant Genetic Diversity for Water-Use Efficiency, INRA-Marrakech, Morocco, 10-12 Oct. 2005.
19. INCANA Hybrid & BT Cotton Workshop in India, 20-26 Nov. 2005.
20. Executive Committee Meeting, Sana’a Yemen, 18-19 Sept. 2005.
21. Workshop on Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Industry: The Link between Producer and European Consumer; Malta ,7-9 Nov.2005
22. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Guidelines for Olive, Cyprus, 19-21 December 2005
23. Harnessing Biotechnology and genetic Engineering for Agricultural Development in the Near East & North Africa, Cairo -Egypt 12-14 February , 2006
24. The Third International Conference on Date-Palm , Abu-Dhabi-UAE, 19-21 February 2006
25. GPhI and Network Coordinators follow up meeting to finalize the 3 project ideas, Abu-Dhabi, UAE 22 February 2006
26. ICT-RAIS General Assembly Meeting Amman-Jordan April 2006











8. Conclusions

v AARINENA has supported National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in the region in capacity building through training programs, technical and scientific workshops and conferences, and establishing regional information and communication system (EAIS) through active support and active participation of GFAR, ICARDA and FAO. In this regard, a web site ( to disseminate information to member countries began operating July 2002.

v AARINENA has also contributed establishing four networks for essential crops in the region; date palm, cotton, olive and medicinal & herbal plants, and supported their activities. Plans to establish two new networks on water use efficiency and biotechnology are in progress. AARINENA played the major role in the implementation of the “Strategic Framework for Global Post-harvest Initiative-Linking Farmers to Markets”.

v AARINENA acted as a facilitator in bringing the views, aspirations and research priorities of the WANA region to the attention of relevant international organizations with the aim of promoting a sustainable agricultural development through attraction of global agricultural and developmental communities, as well as donors to support the regional and sub-regional research projects and related activities.