Sheikh Mohammed chairs the Cabinet meeting on Sunday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
DUBAI: In its meeting held remotely on Sunday, the Federal Cabinet approved a national system for sustainable agriculture and an additional Dhs320 million budget for national universities.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, presided over a virtual UAE Government Cabinet meeting on Sunday.
The Cabinet has also approved the updated safety standardisation requirements for school buses in the UAE. The new update takes advantage of advanced technologies to boost safety levels.
The UAE Cabinet has designated Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as a national carrier, a move that will complement the national aviation sector.
Sheikh Mohammed took to Twitter and said, ''Today I chaired a Cabinet meeting in which we approved a national system for sustainable agriculture, to improve the efficiency of our UAE farms, enhance our self-sufficiency in food, and create new opportunities to ensure the sector is always ranked among the best,'' said Sheikh Mohammed.
''We want to invest in new agricultural fields and mechanisms by harnessing advanced technologies and make proactive changes in agricultural and food systems,'' he added.
Sheikh Mohammed underlined the importance of food security as a key element of comprehensive development and highlighted UAE’s keenness to formulate plans and policies aimed at facilitating sustainable food production by utilising the latest in technology and innovative approaches.
Sheikh Mohammed said that the founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, realised the importance of this sector at an early stage and began to implement agricultural development plans, "We have learned from Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE, the importance of agriculture to sustaining civilization. In Zayed’s footsteps we follow, marching ahead to create a better future for our country."
The UAE Sustainable Agriculture System, the first of its kind, aims to increase UAE’s self-sufficiency from agricultural production and increase the workforce in the agricultural sector.
The new System also seeks to invest in agriculture by utilising modern technologies, and make proactive changes in food and agricultural systems.
Gaining a competitive advantage and adopting the right marketing are key elements to the System to motivate consumers to buy sustainable products, which will contribute to the development in the supply chain.
The UAE Sustainable Agriculture System has benefited from the joint programme that was undertaken between the Future Food Security Office and the Government Accelerators to develop solutions that guarantees more competitiveness of local food production, and to provide support channels for those involved in this sector.
The System utilises artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. Smart phone applications will be used to help farmers to monitor movement of insects. Other tools are also used to damage the fertility of insects.
Sheikh Mohammed also said, ''We approved Dhs320 million in extra budgets for our national universities to improve their future performance. Normality will resume at our universities & schools. It's the government's job to create an ideal environment for students to return in the academic year 2020/2021,'' Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
The national system for sustainable agriculture seeks to increase self-sufficiency from targeted agricultural crops to 5 per cent annually and average farm income to 10 per cent annually. Socially, the system aims to raise workforce in the sector by 5 per cent annually. Environmentally, it targets a 15 per cent annual reduction in water used for irrigation of a production unit.
Sheikh Mohammed said, "Despite the global economic conditions, our projects are continuing, our priorities are intact, and the social development sectors will not be touched."
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