UAE strives to enhance food security - GulfToday

UAE strives to enhance food security


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

October 16 marks the World Food Day. However, the day’s relevance could not have been more telling, particularly as it comes, this year, amid the global coronavirus pandemic, which has cost thousands of lives. It has also cost many people their jobs and by extension their livelihood. Food has become a luxury for many low-wage income earners whose existence has been badly hit by the virus.

Hence, this year’s World Food Day’s theme — Grow, Nourish, and Sustain. Together — can be all the more challenging.

The World Food Day is an ideal occasion to raise people’s awareness about the value of food, highlight the real challenges facing food security in different countries, and strengthen international cooperation to eradicate hunger around the world and achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for a prosperous future for humankind.

 The UAE is a key player in the global food security ecosystem; it provides the infrastructure and logistics to connect producers and farmers to consumers around the world. Its national strategy aims to find innovative and sustainable solutions for food production and management.

The world’s population is on track to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 – a challenge that will only be exacerbated by climate change, decreasing agricultural land, water scarcity, desertification, and other obstacles hindering the world’s ability to provide safe, nutritious, and sufficient food. This makes it imperative that we innovate by changing the way we produce food and the way we consume food.

The UAE is one of the world’s largest donors of official development assistance, which includes material and technical assistance and the establishment of sustainable food production projects in many countries.

“What is required is nothing less than a complete paradigm shift in the way we produce food and our relationship with it,” asserted Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, at the CFS High-Level Special Event, hosted on Zoom by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on October 13-15, 2020.

“Global food systems are under unprecedented pressure. By 2050, the world’s food production and supply networks will need to sustainably feed ten billion people, meaning they will have to produce food to meet demand that will be 60% greater than it is today.”

“The revised proposed CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems is a vital contribution to this goal of transformation, addressing as it does the complex factors relating to food security and their interrelationships that govern our ability to create a sustainable food security landscape and to ensure that we leave no person behind,” she said.

The UAE is making wholehearted efforts to create a sustainable food secure future, reducing its environmental footprint across its entire food value chain; from using solar-powered desalination techniques to supplying water for irrigation to its focus on Controlled Environment Agriculture that minimises the use of precious resources such as water.

“The nation also supports small shareholder farmers, such as providing them with shelves at all retailers, opening up tourism agriculture etc.”

Even residents are doing their bit to see no one goes without food.

Thousands of Dawoodi Bohras from all parts of the world have come out on World Food Day to engage in various activities to fight for a Zero Hunger World and honour our Food Heroes.

The Dawoodi Bohras of Sharjah mobilised efforts to distribute 200 meals to the less fortunate in collaboration with the Indian Association in Sharjah to mark the World Food Day.

All the activities were undertaken under the banner of Project Rise which is the global philanthropic arm of the Dawoodi Bohra.

“We need to provide adequate nutrition for the 690 million people who are undernourished,” Almheiri has said. This provides sufficient food for thought.

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