This photo is used for illustrative purpose.
The fruits of visionary ideas and their effective implementation are always sweet. The UAE leadership’s keenness to formulate plans and policies aimed at facilitating sustainable food production by utilising the latest in technology and innovative approaches has been yielding rich dividends for the nation.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has correctly underlined the importance of food security as a key element of comprehensive development.
In his own words, “We have learned from Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE, the importance of agriculture to sustaining civilization. In Sheikh Zayed’s footsteps we follow, marching ahead to create a better future for our country.”
The Cabinet approval for the “UAE Sustainable Agriculture System” is a hugely welcome step as it will undoubtedly help increase self-sufficiency in crops, increasing returns and investments in the sector.
It should be noted that the UAE Sustainable Agriculture System is the first of its kind and aims to increase UAE’s self-sufficiency from agricultural production and increase the workforce in the agricultural sector.
This is a visionary initiative as 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.
Modern technology will be fully utilized.
The System utilises artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. Smart phone applications will be used to help farmers to monitor insect’s movement. Other tools are also used to damage the fertility of insects.
The goal is noble.
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.
Separately, to help traders and consumers boost their confidence in the local product and enhance its competitiveness in the market, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, ADAFSA, this week issued 36 post-harvest practice guides covering 41 crops, including 21 guides for vegetables and 15 guides for fruits.
The ADAFSA is keen to gather these guides in one book issued under the name “Guide to Postharvest Practices”, to be a reference for good post-harvest practices, and a guide for farmers to enable them to maintain post-harvest quality and minimise crop losses and thereby increase farm revenues.
The guide would help traders and consumers boost their confidence in the local product.
The UAE has successfully embraced new ideas and projects to help further enhance food production. The leadership has a clear strategy and sufficient resources to achieve the objectives on this front. The country has been moving in the right direction to achieve self-sufficiency.
As Sheikh Mohammed pointed out recently, the country’s ability to ensure sustained flow of food supplies during the exceptional situation created by the COVID-19 outbreak through successful measures implemented by the government showed the strength and resilience of national food security strategies and the capability to respond effectively to the needs of the community.
It is significant to note that the UAE markets did not witness any shortage in food supply.
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