UAE has learnt from Covid to boost food security: Sheikh Mohammed

UAE has learnt from Covid to boost food security: Sheikh Mohammed
26 August 2020

Sheikh Mohammed's remarks came as he reviewed food and water security plans following the recent restructuring of the UAE Cabinet.

The UAE must learn from challenges posed by the global outbreak of Covid-19 to improve its food and water security, the country's Vice-President said on Sunday. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the pandemic helped the country "develop a more comprehensive vision" to deal with challenges.

He said food and water security is a "top priority" for the government and the UAE aims to launch qualitative initiatives that "boost our readiness to confront all kind of crises".

Sheikh Mohammed's remarks came as he reviewed food and water security plans following the recent restructuring of the UAE Cabinet in preparation for the post Covid-19 era.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed directed Minister of State for Food Security Mariam bint Mohammad Saeed Hareb Al Muhairi to follow up on the UAE national food reserve, invest in food technology and develop international partnerships that will help provide practical solutions. "The UAE's food and water security is an integral part of the national security and the sustainability of our food and water resources is a guarantee for our sustainable development," he said.

Minister Mariam Al Muhairi highlighted the efforts and initiatives to further enhance the country's food and water security and explained the national strategic plans considering the current and future challenges.

Al Muhairi said the leadership has a "futuristic vision" that will help find practical solutions to global challenges, "both now and in the future". She said the UAE food and water security is a top priority and the success the country will achieve in this sector will "reflect directly on other development plans".

"Partnership is a key pillar in the government work model, and we will work with relevant local and international entities to draft a framework that will help us achieve mutual interests and support our food and water sector," she said.

The meeting was attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, and Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

How the UAE ensures there will always be food for all

The UAE has put food security at the top of its priority list. Here are some recent initiatives that will ensure food for all at all times

> March 30: Food security law

The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, approved a strategic food security law that ensures adequate and uninterrupted food supplies through wholesalers and retailers across the UAE at all times. It seeks to regulate the strategic stock of food commodities in the country in the event of crises, emergencies and disasters. It offers incentives and facilities to registered providers and merchants while stipulating various penalties that include imprisonment and fines of up to Dh5 million for violators.

> June 29: National System for Sustainable Agriculture

The system will help ramp up production and quality of local farms. It aims to improve the efficiency of UAE farms, enhance self-sufficiency in food, and create new opportunities.

> July 5: Holstein cows arrive from Uruguay

A shipment of 4,500 Holstein cows arrived in the country from Uruguay. The bovines, one of the best breeds for milk production, arrived at the Khalifa Port within 40 days from the date of import. They marked the beginning of an ambitious launch for the largest dairy cattle breeding project in the UAE to enhance food security.