VIENNA: Kuwaiti researchers have taken part in scientific projects in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Austria, focusing on methods to develop agriculture in Kuwait despite climatic challenges. Dr Habiba Al-Mnai from Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) indicated in an interview with KUNA that she and other Kuwaiti scientists had been involved in applying techniques to enhance the quality of fertilizer and using atomic processes for management of irrigation systems.
Kuwait largely depends on agricultural imports due to domestic climatic difficulties, namely high heat, scarcity of rain and infertile soil. These projects, she explains, aim to enhance agricultural production and minimize adverse impact of factors such as the harsh weather and high salinity in the sand on plant growth. Seeds have been brought from Kuwait and exposed to gamma radiation, she says, indicating that the work aims at extracting DNA from some shrubs as part of a bid to make plants withstand the harsh climate in Kuwait.
Abdullah Al-Shatti, another Kuwaiti scientist, presented a scientific project using nuclear applications to measure humidity in the soil and proportion of nitrogen to ration fertilizer consumption. Kuwait is partaking with 10 scientific projects with the IAEA for 2018-2019. Some of them are designed to ensure effective usage of water for crops, utilize underground water, monitor spread of toxic mushrooms as well as hazardous radiation. – KUNA