Saudi Arabia 2020

The city of Al-Khobar hosted the ninth Meeting of the G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) chaired by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as G20 President on 18th and 19th February 2020 with 65 participants from G20 members, guest countries, and international organizations. Key global issues covered by the meeting included sustainable agriculture development in drylands, promoting agricultural productivity and sustainability through a wide range of innovative approaches including cutting-edge technologies, and the Water, Energy and Food (WEF) nexus. MACS members recognized the need to co-create tailor made approaches, adapted to the local needs of farmers, rural communities, value chains and consumers.

Prior to the meeting, a field trip to Al-Hassa Oasis was organized on 17th February 2020. The participants visited: Saudi Irrigation Organization (SIO) to observe irrigation maintenance and management activities; herd and production factory of Nada Dairy Company; and Land of Civilizations (Al-Qara Mountain) one of the most prominent natural tourist attraction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



Dryland Monday, 10 August 2020





14:00 – 14:05



1. Welcoming Address (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Prof. Suliman Ali Al-Khateeb

3 min

14:05 – 14:40

Session 1. Key Risks, opportunities and system approach for sustainable agricultural development In drylands (35 min)


1. Systems agronomy in northern Australia's maturing agriculture

Dr. David Lawrence (Australia)

7 min


2. Innovations to enhance agroecosystem resilience and adaptation to climate change in drylands of China

Prof. Wang Yaosheng (China)

7 min


3. Modelling dry farming systems: a roadmap for tool development

Dr. Marcello Donatelli (Italy)

7 min


4. Holistic View and Future opportunities to Promote Sustainable Agriculture Development in Drylands: The Case of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mohammad Almutari (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

7 min


5. Collaborative US research highlights: Providing a range of tools and resources for sustainable agriculture in drylands

Dr. Laura Schreeg (USA)

7 min

14:40 – 16:05

Session 2. Enabling tools for sustainable agricultural development In drylands (85 min)


1. Genome editing for drought tolerance and crop production sustainability

Dr. Sergio Feingold


7 min


2. Breeding for diversified cropping systems: Example of sorghum based systems in Central North zone of Burkina Faso

Dr. Myriam Adam (France)

7 min


3. Enhancing drought stress tolerance by harnessing genetic resources

Dr. Gwendolin Wehner (Germany)

7 min


4. Genetic enhancement and natural resources management for enhancing productivity, sustainability and resilience in drylands

Dr. D.K. Yadava (India)

7 min


5. Developing drought-tolerant legume crops by agro-ecological and genomic approaches

Dr. Paolo Annicchiarico & Dr. Luciano Pecetti (Italy)

7 min


6. Drought tolerance improvement in plants: An integrated view from breeding to genomics

Mr. Enes YAKIŞIR (Turkey)

7 min


7. Agricultural transformation in the drylands: Role of Data & Disruptive technologies

Prof. Wayne Powell (UK)

7 min


8. Crop breeding for drought-resistance varieties using smart sensors

Dr. Shamal Mohammed (UK)

7 min


9. Appropriate Technologies for Soil and Water Management: South African Examples

Prof. Sue Walker (South Africa)

7 min


10. Artificial soil for urban greening and urban farming

Mr. Konstantin Romanenko (Russia)

7 min


11. Soil & water researches in adaptation to climate change: Turkey Case

Mr. Alican EREN (Turkey)

7 min


12. Irrigation in Canada: Improving water productivity through Research and Development

Mr. Evan Derdall (Canada)

7 min

16:05 – 16:25

Session 3. biotic factors affecting sustainable agricultural development In drylands (20 min)


1. Emerging biotic stresses affecting crops and animals and their management under drylands

Dr. N. Bakthavatsalam (India)

7 min


2. Pests & Diseases Challenging Animal’s Health in Drylands: ARC-OVR Perspectives

Dr. Mohammed Sirdar (South Africa)

7 min


3. Locust and grasshopper management in drylands: Can biological control be considered as a viable solution?

Dr. Ulrich Kuhlmann & Dr. Belinda Luke (CABI)

7 min

16:25 – 17:35

session 4. innovation, technology & adoption to enhance resource use efficiency (70 min)


1. Exploring valuable traits in beneficial rhizobacteria for development of bio-inputs in Argentina: A Sustainable solution to enhance crop productivity in drylands

Dr. Julia García (Argentina)

7 min


2. Australian rangelands – Towards resilient systems under climate change

Dr. Cécile Godde (Australia)

7 min


3. Integrated systems in Brazilian semi-arid: tools for adapting to climate change

Dr. Diana Signor Deon (Brazil)

7 min


4. Platforms for concerted territorial planning: Climate change adaptation programme for vulnerable rural territories (PACTE) of Tunisia

Dr. Sylvie Morardet (France)

7 min


5. Upscaling potential of Organic farming to enhance resilience and contribute sustainability in the drylands

Prof. Gerold Rahmann (Germany)

7 min


6. Self-sustaining Food Producing Platform

Mr. David Enríquez (Mexico)

7 min


7. Scenarios for climate smart livestock systems in drylands

Dr. Henning Steinfeld (FAO)

7 min


8. Drylands of NENA Region: Integrated Approaches and Sustainable Natural Management to Enhance Resilience and Food Security

Mr. Rachid Serraj and Ms. Vera Boerger (FAO)

7 min


9. Integrating and scaling innovations for dryland agriculture

Prof. Jacques Wery (ICARDA)

7 min


10. High and Low tech innovations to enhance resilience of small scale farmers

Mr. Shantanu Mathur (IFAD)

7 min

17:35 – 18:25



50 min

18:25 – 18:30

closing session (5 min)


Closing Remarks


5 min

Photo gallery