Online platform boost for agricultural sector

AN online platform to strengthen the agricultural sector in Bahrain was launched yesterday.

AgroBH (, the curated database spearheaded by the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD), hopes to assist the accomplishment of the kingdom’s economic, social and environmental development goals.

The comprehensive online platform provides a one-stop-shop for credible resources, academic research, scientific data, statistics, satellite images, training programmes as well as contact details of Bahraini farmers, among others.

“There are six main data sections on the platform – agriculture trade, agriculture data, GIS (geographic information system) applications, agricultural resources, agriculture government policies and NIAD,” said NIAD secretary general Shaikha Maram bint Isa Al Khalifa during the launch of the platform at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay.

Present were officials from more than 20 government agencies who collaborated on the platform.

“It aims to provide a centralised database of all the latest and updated information, research, statistics and techniques as well as encourage and attract foreign investment in the field,” added Shaikha Maram.

“It is connected to various government agencies and ministries that are critical to the field and it serves three key categories – the government, investors and the general public.

“Our goal is the sustainable growth and maintenance of the agriculture so we will continue updating the information available regularly and we have to increase our efforts to collect information that has been lacking in previous years.”

Shaikha Maram urged all Bahraini farmers to submit their contact details to be included in the database free of charge in order to encourage their participation, support their produce and market their products.

“The biggest issue we’re trying to address through this initiative is the availability of data because in order for any sector to operate effectively data must be available to all those concerned,” she said.

“There is a huge lack of data where agriculture is concerned and there was a need to put all the available data today on one platform and continue to collect more data such as the output, type of produce, soil and climate.

“We can’t use historical data and we need to keep updating this information.”

Shaikha Maram confirmed that a specialised team under NIAD is continuously researching and updating data on the platform.

Meanwhile, Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA) chief executive Mohammed Al Qaed told the GDN that sustainable growth in the agricultural sector is critical for food security in Bahrain.

“We are seeing changes globally such as climate change and wars in certain countries which are impacting food supply and agricultural spaces,” he said, on the sidelines of the event.

“It is critical to be self-sufficient especially in this field and ensure that our whole output – or part of it – is local.

“This platform is a comprehensive and technologically advanced one-stop-shop to provide all the necessary information for all parties concerned.

“There are studies that iGA has conducted and satellite maps that we provided in addition to our continuous development of the technological aspect of the platform.”

During the ceremony, a short film about the platform was screened and the institutions that contributed to supporting it were honoured.




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