UAE launches system to increase food security


Dubai - The National System for Sustainable Agriculture seeks to increase self-sufficiency from targeted agricultural crops to five per cent annually.


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 28 Jun 2020, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 5 Jan 2023, 3:53 PM

The UAE has launched a National System for Sustainable Agriculture to ramp up production and quality of local farms.

A remote Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday also announced an additional Dh320 million budget for national universities.

"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.

Approving an additional Dh320 million for bettering the performance of national universities, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted: "Normality will resume at our universities and schools. It's the government's job to create an ideal environment for students to return in the academic year 2020-/2021."

The National System for Sustainable Agriculture seeks to increase self-sufficiency from targeted agricultural crops to five per cent annually and average farm income to 10 per cent annually. Socially, the system aims to raise workforce in the sector by five per cent annually. Environmentally, it targets a 15 per cent annual reduction in water used for irrigation of a production unit.

The system also aims to enhance local agricultural production so as to help the country handle challenges in the food security, water scarcity and climate change, population growth and the consequent increase in demand for food.

Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, said the launch of the National System for Sustainable Agriculture will enhance the UAE's food security agenda.

"Sustainability is a national and global trend to develop various vital sectors, including the food sector, while preserving the environment and natural resources. Sustainability in food security cuts down waste and addresses the challenges facing the sector, the most significant of which for the UAE is fresh water scarcity," she said.

"The National System will distinguish products of local origin, facilitate their marketing and raise the level of consumer confidence, thereby encouraging customers to switch to responsible consumption," she added.

Additionally, the Cabinet approved a decision to consider Wizz Air Abu Dhabi as a national airline for the UAE, once the airline completes the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The Cabinet also has reviewed the recommendations of services provided to people of determination, regarding the policies of the Ministry of Community Development, as well as the recommendations of the policies of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

The Cabinet also approved a decision to update the safety standards of the school buses, which aims to protect the students by implementing technologies according to the best international standards.

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