'Best food with least resources': UAE launches food innovation hub at COP28

This is the sixth hub that has been launched by the World Economic Forum to bring together all global stakeholders under the farm-to-fork concept

by

Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 4 Dec 2023, 2:22 PM

Last updated: Mon 4 Dec 2023, 10:28 PM

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in cooperation with the World Economic Forum and the Ministry of Climate and Environmental Change has launched the UAE Food Innovation Hub in order to deal with the challenges arising from climate change to food safety and security.

This is the sixth hub that has been launched by the World Economic Forum around the world to bring together all the stakeholders under the farm-to-fork concept as part of the sustainable food supply chain.

“We live in an arid environment, so we need to be innovative by how to use the least resources to make the best production.There are lots of talks about aeroponics use and the usage of drones in agriculture. So the idea is to think innovatively. How to combine all these to be able to sustain the climate changes,” said Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, CEO of MBRGI.

Photo: Shihab/KT
Photo: Shihab/KT

“The idea is to come up with innovative ideas because there are lots of climate changes and we should not think only about our country or our region but for everyone,” he added.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives has five main pillars — humanitarian aid and relief; healthcare and disease control; spreading education and knowledge; innovation and entrepreneurship; and empowering communities.

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“Through two pillars — humanitarian aid and innovation and entrepreneurship, we partnered with the World Economic Forum to make the UAE Food Innovation Hub, because climate change is here, it's not tomorrow. We need to think how to make the best food with least resources as well as how to make it sustainable,” Al Olama told Khaleej Times in an interview on the sidelines of the COP28 conference, which will run at Expo City Dubai till December 12.

Photo: Shihab/KT
Photo: Shihab/KT

In 2023, MBRGI also launched the 1 Billion Meals Endowment campaign, moving from emergency food support to sustainable support.

“We help people to build sustainable farming and irrigation using solar panels. We should not think only of just giving the means but enable others to be able to make food for a long time. In Africa, 30 per cent of farmers left their farms because of climate change. We need to think of innovative ways of how to bring them back because we don't just want to support but also be part of the food supply chain,” he said.

Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama said the hub will have food storage as well as research and development (R&D) facilities at the hub.

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