New AI-powered system to predict quantity, cost of food products imported into Abu Dhabi

New system also analyses the waste processes from the foodstuff in the country, thus identifying potential opportunities for re-export


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Tue 1 Mar 2022, 2:40 PM

The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has developed a smart system that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict and assess the quantity and cost of agricultural, animal and poultry food products imported into the country to ensure food security and prevent waste.

The new system, which also uses machine learning techniques, aims to build a future vision for the direction and value of food imports into the UAE and analyse the most strategic foodstuffs.

The initiative has been created in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority and the Emirates Center for Innovation in Communications and Information Technology,

The smart system will forecast sources and quantities of food products to identify potential diversification opportunities for import sources and reduce waste.

Authorities explained that the model was built by developing an interactive graphic dashboard by analysing a series of historical data for quantities and values of imports and re-exports of animal, poultry and agricultural food products. The panel shows interactive information about the countries where the foodstuff is being imported from, their quantity and values.

According to officials, creating a machine learning model to predict the quantity of imports of foodstuff into the country is to determine the volume and cost of the foodstuff imports and the countries where they are produced.

The new system also analyses the waste processes from the foodstuff in the country, thus identifying potential opportunities for re-export.

Aisha Al Naili Al Shamsi, Director of Statistics and Analysis Department at the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, said: "Developing a model to predict food imports, understanding the trends and patterns of food and feeds imports helps to develop a clear picture of the levels of food imports in the future.

"It also enables the development of policies, regulations, and plans that ensure the continuity of the country's food supply, in addition to assisting in the development of accurate response plans in times of disasters and crises, or when there are any disturbances related to the supply of food, by knowing the quantities currently imported in the country."

She explained that the development of this smart model was based on the country's food imports information during the period from 2015 to 2020.


"The system was developed based on import data of animal and poultry products such as beef, eggs, frozen chicken and fresh chicken meat, as well as agricultural products such as cucumbers, tomatoes and melons in order to understand the level of dependence in meeting the needs of consumers for each product and the country from where they are imported so as to determine the nature of the potential risks in relation to the supply chain, prices, and chances to identify alternatives in times of crises and emergencies, or in the event of a lack of supply or an increase in prices," said Al Shamsi.

Officials noted that the system also provides detailed information on waste rates for each product within the supply chain, which helps to strengthen accounting mechanisms for food waste and create opportunities for recycling and re-export.

Al Shamsi pointed out that the smart model allows the possibility of adding new updates to keep pace with future requirements stressing that future updates and additions are very important.

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