WELCOME TO THE CDA

Globally, and in the Middle East, we have huge challenges for the sustainability of our food production systems. Fortunately, there are huge opportunities as well. Watch our video to learn how we're translating basic research into real-world solutions.

 

THE FOOD SYSTEM

Agriculture and the food system, both in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and globally, are among the least sustainable of all human activities.

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of all greenhouse gases

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of all land used by humans

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of global energy supplies

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of global water supplies

 

These practices must change, both locally and globally, and such change needs to be led by data-driven science and future-focused innovation. KAUST is perfectly positioned to lead this drive for the KSA, the region, and the world.

 

HOW DO WE SUSTAINABLY FEED OUR RAPIDLY GROWING POPULATION?

 

The 10-year goal of the Center for Desert Agriculture (CDA) is to study, test, and implement secure, safe, and sustainable crop production systems for the KSA. These systems will produce and deliver fresh, nutritious, and high-value crops to the kingdom's people with a reduced environmental footprint (e.g., less water, fertilizer, pesticides, and GHG emissions), thereby promoting healthy lifestyles and a clean environment for generations to come.

The CDA’s goals align directly with many of the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and the KSA’s Vision 2030 for national transformation.

 

Our strategic development plan

To accomplish this ambitious task, the CDA will take a multi-pronged approach to develop innovative field and greenhouse production systems for crop plants through

  1. directed and applied research,
  2. graduate education,
  3. extension, outreach, and community engagement, and
  4. government, industrial, and academic partnerships.

MISSION, VISION & STRATEGIC GOALS

Our mission

The mission of the Center for Desert Agriculture is to foster and deliver innovations that make a significant impact on sustainable agriculture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by 2030. To achieve this mission, we will:

  1. study, engineer, and implement sustainable plant-based cropping systems in production and community field and greenhouse ecosystems through partnerships with government, academia and industry,
  2. teach and train KAUST students and others to utilize and improve our sustainable plant-based cropping system, and
  3. translate basic biological and engineering discoveries from KAUST and elsewhere into practical solutions for sustainable agriculture.

 

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Our vision for 2030

  • By 2030, The CDA will be a leader, innovator and essential partner for the advancement of sustainable agriculture and food security in desert ecosystems in KSA and the world.
  • By 2030, The CDA will have lead the transformation of how high-value crops are grown and distributed throughout KSA, thereby improving the quality of life and incomes of KSA citizens.
  • By 2030, The CDA will have trained scientists, leaders and entrepreneurs in sustainable agriculture in desert ecosystems.
  • By 2030, The CDA will have inspired the next generation of Saudi youth to embrace sustainable plant-based agriculture and environmental protection in their country.

 

Our strategic goals

  1. Develop innovative solutions for sustainable plant-based agriculture in hot, dry and saline desert ecosystems, and deliver these solutions through education, technology transfer and economic development.
  2. Empower and inspire the young minds of Saudi Arabia with the knowledge, training, and confidence to tackle what is arguably the most significant problem of this century: "How can we sustainably feed our rapidly growing population?"

SUSTAINABLE
AGRICULTURE IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS

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FEEDING THE WORLD WITHOUT DESTROYING THE PLANET