Egyptian scientist chairs international conference on agriculture's biggest threat



Mon, 25 Sep 2023 - 12:47 GMT


Mon, 25 Sep 2023 - 12:47 GMT



CAIRO - 25 September 2023: For the first time ever, the global Nematode Sciences Conference, traditionally held annually in Europe and America, will be conducted in Cairo on Monday. This significant shift not only geographically but also in leadership marks a notable milestone in the realm of agricultural science.


Egyptian agricultural scientist, Fahim Qoura, will preside over this year's conference, a groundbreaking move as he becomes the first Arab president of the Nematology Association in Tropical America.


In an interview with "Sky News Arabia," Qoura shared, "After painstaking efforts, I succeeded in relocating the International Nematode Conference for the first time outside Europe and America.


The 53rd edition will be held in Egypt, marking the first time that the African continent and the Middle East will host such a significant event. The main aim is to showcase the best methods to combat the most ferocious and hazardous soil pests that threaten agricultural crops."


On the topic of his selection as the president of the International Nematode Association and Conference, Qoura elucidated:


The choice was based on my scientific reputation and contributions in this domain, coupled with my active participation in scientific conferences.In 2019, I was elected as the vice-president of both the association and the conference.


At the most recent conference in France, I was unanimously voted in as president by all members.Since my appointment, I made substantial efforts to host the conference outside of Europe and America. I presented a comprehensive dossier about Egypt showcasing its suitability for this grand event.


The dossier addressed various concerns, especially logistics, considering many scientists would be attending with their families.I gave a lecture to the association's stakeholders about Egypt from a tourism, agricultural, and security perspective. Following this, a vote was cast to choose the conference location. Egypt garnered 87.5% of the total votes, leading to the decision to conduct the conference in Cairo for the first time outside Europe and America.


The conference will see the participation of about 140 scientists and researchers from 34 countries across various continents. The schedule includes 16 discussion sessions, followed by field visits to acquaint attendees with the latest agricultural methods in Egypt, and a tour of various Cairo landmarks.


Hosting such an esteemed event will significantly benefit Egypt from tourism, scientific, and agricultural perspectives. Additionally, Egyptian researchers will have the opportunity to interact with renowned scholars from prestigious global universities, leading to potential collaborations and research projects benefiting the region as a whole.


The five-day conference, set in one of Cairo's luxurious hotels, will also witness representatives from major agricultural and chemical companies, both from within Egypt and internationally, showcasing their latest products and innovations in the field.


About Fahim Qoura: The 57-year-old Qoura holds a Master's degree focused on the influence of plant age and fertilization on some plants' resistance to root-knot nematodes. He achieved his Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences by researching the symbiotic relationship between nematodes and pathogenic fungi on the fibrous root bark of citrus trees. Currently, Qoura heads the International Strawberry Breeding and Hybridization Program at the University of Florida, USA, and serves as the president of the Nematology Association in Tropical America.


Nematodes are microscopic, worm-like organisms found in the soil. While some can be beneficial, many are pests that can cause significant damage to crops, making them a serious threat to agriculture worldwide. The Nematode Sciences Conference brings together experts to discuss advancements, research, and strategies to counter these pests.


Qoura's election as the president of the Nematology Association and the decision to hold the conference in Cairo signifies a recognition of Egypt's growing role in agricultural research and its broader engagement in global scientific discussions.





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