COLLEGE STATION – Chancellor John Sharp announced today that The Texas A&M University System has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Qatar to work on a food security program for that Arab state.
“We all understand the importance of agriculture, and how vital it is to ensure the safety and security of the food we produce and consume,” Sharp said. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in Qatar to share ideas for joint programs that will address food security and other important agricultural issues.”
The agreement comes after a visit to Qatar, home to a branch campus of the A&M System’s flagship institution Texas A&M University, by Sharp, Board of Regents Chairman Dr. Richard Box and Dr. Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences.
Research, academic programs and Extension or outreach programs that are expected to be developed through the cooperation may include dryland agriculture, animal production, aquaculture, food processing and distribution; food and agriculture policy development, water desalinization and recycling, irrigation technology and human workforce development for these industries.
“On the surface, Qatar’s agricultural needs seem so different than Texas,” said Box. “But there is much we have in common, such as the drive to continue to research and learn about new and innovative means to ensure our food and water supplies are safe. I believe there is much we can learn from each other that will benefit the people of Qatar and Texas.”
Sharp said that efforts in Qatar will be mutually beneficial in that programs and research should generate solutions, educate future professionals and transfer knowledge to practitioners.
“This joint effort is a way to strengthen and further the excellence in education, research and service in Texas, our nation and Qatar,” said Hussey. “Texas A&M AgriLife is uniquely positioned to cooperate with our colleagues in Qatar for this important task of achieving food security.”
The cooperative agreement will extend through 2018.
QATAR AGREEMENT: Fahad Al-Attiya, Qatar National Food Security Programme chair, left, shakes hands with Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp after the two signed a memorandum of cooperation to address food security issues in Qatar. The cooperative agreement will extend until 2018. (Photo courtesy of Texas A&M University at Qatar)
About the A&M System
The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.5 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 120,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expenditures exceed $780 million and help drive the state’s economy.