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Sheikh Mohammed reiterates UAE’s drive to enhance food and water security

Sheikh Mohammed reiterates UAE’s drive to enhance food and water security

He has instructed the relevant departments to monitor the national reserves, invest in food technologies and forge international partnerships too

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has emphasised the need for enhanced food and water security initiatives to be implemented within the country.

“Food and water security are among the priorities of the UAE Government for the post-coronavirus Covid-19 period, and the objective is to launch specialist initiatives that will ensure our readiness to confront all types of crises,” he said on Sunday.

“The global coronavirus crisis has enabled us to adopt a comprehensive vision aimed at handling challenges, and we should capitalise on this moment to strengthen our food and water security.”

Sheikh Mohammed made these remarks during a meeting held to review the country’s food and water security plans following the announcement of the recent restructuring of the UAE Cabinet and ministries within the government.

As part of that restructuring in July, it was decided that Minister of State for Food Security Mariam bint Mohammad Saeed Hareb Al Muhairi will also be a part of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

“The file of food security will remain a priority through two ministers – the Minister of State for Food and Water Security will follow up on our national food stockpile and invest in food technology and international relations in this field, and the Minister of Environment will support farmers and developing our fish and animal wealth,” Sheikh Mohammed said at the time.

At the meeting on Sunday, he instructed Al Muhairi to monitor the national reserves, invest in food technologies, forge international partnerships, and implement practical solutions to the specific challenges facing the UAE.

“The UAE’s and water security is part of our national security, and the sustainability of our food and water resources will ensure our sustainable development,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

During the meeting, Al Muhairi presented a strategic plan for this portfolio, and affirmed that strategic food and water security indexes rely on the sustainability of water resources and access to water.

Last year, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that Dhs5.6bn has been set aside for R&D into water scarcity and food security.

Read: UAE to invest Dhs5.6bn into R&D for water scarcity and food security

More recently, in July, the UAE imported 4,500 Holstein dairy cows from Uruguay to boost its food security.

Read also: UAE buys thousands of Uruguay dairy cows to boost food security

Also, the UAE has collaborated with South Korea’s Rural Development Administration on a project to harvest around 1,700 kilograms of rice in Sharjah.

Supply chains and logistics are also being geared towards meeting the country’s objectives. This month, Dubai Trade, DP World’s single window platform for cross border trade, launched ZADI, a unified food import platform to facilitate the import and re-export of food shipments throughout Dubai ports.

A collaboration between DP World-UAE Region, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Customs, the platform is aimed at helping over 18,000 companies in Dubai execute 360,000 transactions annually via a streamlined process.

Read more: DP World launches platform to enhance food security, import in Dubai

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