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Fri 22 Mar 2019 01:25 AM

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UAE minister launches roadmap to improve food security

Plan to support the UAE's bid to become one of the world's top 10 food secure nations

UAE minister launches roadmap to improve food security
A meeting held recently represented the first of what will be a series of discussions between the UAE’s food security stakeholders and The Economist Intelligence Unit moving forward.

The UAE’s bid to become one of the world’s top 10 food secure nations has taken a major step forward with the launch of a food security roadmap for the Middle East.

Launched by Mariam Almheiri, the UAE's Minister of State for Food Security, the roadmap aims to further the objectives of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy and to support regional improvement.

The roadmap relies on five pillars - building a food data strategy; developing an innovation research & development (R&D) strategy; establishing a national food waste programme; expanding nutritional guidelines; and enhancing the regional trading environment.

“This roadmap will help us make targeted interventions and is expected to be a valuable tool that will assist with our ambition of improving on our current position of 31st in the global food security rankings to being within the top 10 by 2021,” said Almheiri.

“The roadmap is rooted in innovation, a key factor in becoming more food secure. Innovation, science and technology, and research are essential pillars of UAE Vision 2021 and applying these drivers to the food security sector will be instrumental in both improving crop yield and minimising the use of resources,” she added.

“The Middle East is faced with a number of pressing challenges, from extreme climate conditions and scarcity of freshwater resources, to an increased demand for food. This roadmap will help to guide efforts to enhance food security,” said Leo Abruzzese, senior global public policy director for The Economist Intelligence Unit.

A meeting held recently represented the first of what will be a series of discussions between the UAE’s food security stakeholders and The Economist Intelligence Unit moving forward.

During the meeting, Almheiri and stakeholders looked at developing food-security-related data guidelines and an R&D strategy that focuses on biotechnology. They also examined how to best support national and regional strategies to reduce food waste, how to enhance nutritional guidelines to improve the quality of diets and how to draw up an agricultural trade strategy that positions the UAE as a regional trading hub for food in the Middle East.