UAE has a smart plan to tackle food waste

While the UAE is innovating and sewing up partnerships in agritech to become self-sufficient in food, the larger goal is to get people involved for a larger cause - global food security



By Team KT

Published: Wed 8 Jun 2022, 8:59 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jun 2022, 9:29 PM

Not many people realize that the first step towards food security begins at home. Families and communities are buying and consuming more food than they need, which is putting a strain on global production in troubled regions around the world that are finding it hard to cope with rising demand. One-third of the food that we produce is being discarded. What we waste can feed 800 million people and stave off global hunger. Startling statistics indeed. There’s more. In the UAE, Dh6 billion worth of food is thrown away every year. The government has, therefore, stepped in and is serious about creating awareness among people to curb this practice. The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is clear that the country must reduce food loss and wastage through social and personal responsibility. Home-grown solutions are often the best way to avert global crises, and the UAE is showing how it can be done with the President leading by example. Work towards this mission began in 2020, during the peak of the Covid pandemic, and is gaining steam as the world confronts issues on multiple fronts.

A global hunger crisis is staring at us and the scarcity of essential products is being compounded by the ongoing Covid pandemic, oil price hikes, Russia-Ukraine conflict, and climate change. Both global supply chains and agriculture have been hit. Russia and Ukraine are among the top producers of wheat, with China and India taking the first two spots. China, India, and Russia produce 41 per cent of the world’s wheat crop. The United States comes fourth. With countries first divided on vaccines and now over Russia and Ukraine, there’s little appetite at the international policy level to curb inflation and ensure supplies are adequate for every person’s nutritional needs. With heatwaves adding to the mix, there’s major trouble brewing on food prices and the costs of essentials.

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“We’re facing a perfect storm that is not just going to hurt the poorest of the poor – it’s also going to overwhelm millions of families who until now have just about kept their heads above water,” warns World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley. Angola, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Benin, Cape Verde, Zimbabwe, Guinea, and Ukraine are now hunger hotspots, according to the United Nations. While the UAE is innovating and sewing up partnerships in agritech to become self-sufficient in food, the government also believes that the larger goal is to involve citizens, expat residents, and businesses for a larger cause - global food security. It is, therefore, going back to basics by encouraging and educating people on frugal consumption. The plan is to rope in the government sector, private players, individuals, and communities in the mission to save food. Think of the less fortunate is the message. There’s no time to waste. Saving the world from a full-blown food crisis is in the UAE’s national interest.


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