Minister of Climate Change and Environment Explores Ideas for Boosting Food Safety, Security with Local Food Producers
Move aligns with Designing the Next 50 project
His Excellency Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, met with the management of Emirates Industry for Camel Milk & Products (EICMP) and Armela Farms to get their input on boosting food security in the UAE.
EICMP produces the leading brand Camelicious, while Armela Farms is a large-scale commercial producer, packer, and distributor of water-grown lettuce and kale.
The meeting aligned with the ‘Designing the Next 50’ project, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that aims to involve citizens and residents in shaping the next five decades of the country through presenting feasible ideas in various fields.
His Excellency Dr Al Nuaimi said: “As food security is one of the aspects of the ‘Designing the Next 50’ project, we encourage the local agricultural sector to actively contribute to building a sustainable future for our country.”
He added: “The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has implemented an integrated approach to enhancing food safety and security in the UAE. This includes boosting the quantity and quality of local produce, attracting investments to agri-tech, expanding the number of import markets to strengthen the food supply chain, and enhancing the capabilities of border veterinary labs and quarantine facilities. We have also joined forces with local government entities in monitoring the trade and use of unlicensed pesticides that can jeopardize the safety of local produce.”
The Minister listened to ideas on ways to overcome the challenges faced by farmers, such as boosting consumers’ trust in local produce to increase demand, deploying solar technologies to address hefty operational costs due to high electricity consumption, and liaising with energy authorities to facilitate the use of clean power in farm operations.
Among other feasible suggestions were expanding R&D in livestock breeding, collaborating with academic institutions to nurture a new generation of UAE nationals specializing in veterinary medicine and farm management, and adopting state-of-art water treatment and recycling technologies that reduce water consumption for irrigation by 90 percent.
The Designing the Next 50 project, which is supervised by the Development Plan Committee of the ‘2020: Towards the next 50’ initiative, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, aims to involve all segments of society in the design of a comprehensive development plan that will shape the next 50 years of the UAE beyond 2021.
About the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) was established in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. Under its redefined scope, the ministry has taken on a dual mandate. On the national level, it aims to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity in accordance with the nation’s aspiration to emerge as a key benchmark for sustainable development. On the global level, MOCCAE joins international stakeholders in combating climate change and profiles the UAE’s path-breaking achievements in the sector at thought leadership platforms worldwide.