Research center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Dedicated to the study, engineering, and implementation of sustainable agriculture in extreme environments



The global population is projected to reach

10 billion by 2050

How do we ensure a secure, safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply for future generations?


The Center for Desert Agriculture is committed to finding smart and efficient solutions to 


  • produce high-value crops and staples
  • reduce reliance on water, fertilizer, and pesticides
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • increase plant growth potential on marginal lands
  • empower the next generation of Saudi Arabian
    citizens to be global leaders in sustainable agriculture
Discover our vision, mission, and more

Photo by Linda Polik. 


21 November, 2023

CDA professors among 2023's most influential researchers

CDA professors Salim Al-Babili and Yoshihide Wada have been recognized among the world's most influential researchers in 2023, as per the Highly Cited Researchers list released by the Clarivate Institute of Scientific Information.

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01 November, 2023

One Planet One Health

Climate change affects every individual and every aspect of life, making urgent collaboration essential for a sustainable future. The One Planet One Health conference brings together experts in marine, soil, plant, and human fields to explore diverse approaches to climate change solutions within their respective domains.

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29 October, 2023

KAUST Center for Desert Agriculture and MEWA host Workshop for Saudi Food Futures

The workshop, a result of the fruitful collaboration between CDA and MEWA, brought together key stakeholders who shared insightful perspectives and discussed strategic priorities, policy options, and innovative solutions for a systemic and sustainable agri-food transformation in the Kingdom and beyond.

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We are an interdisciplinary team of researchers seeking to create measurable impact in the fields of plant science and biotechnology. Learn how you can contribute to our mission and help us feed the world.