he Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announced the formation of a task force to bolster the ‘National Farm Sustainability Initiative’. This is part of the strategic efforts exerted by the ministry to support food sustainability by enabling a national agricultural sector to support the UAE’s food security.
The task force to enhance the National Farm Sustainability Initiative seeks to find new mechanisms and partnerships and link major supply companies with national farms through cooperation with various relevant government and private sector entities in the country. This paves the way for increasing purchases of national farm products and expanding local production through ensuring purchase agreements, thereby increasing the country’s self-sufficiency ratio for selected food items and improving the income of Emirati farms without affecting food trade.
The task force is led by Engineer Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Food Diversity Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and includes Peter Nichols, Chief Operating Officer at ADNH Compass Group; Dr Ray Tinston, Market Director of Monbat; Hamed Ahmed Al Hamed, founder of Gracia Agricultural Group, Omar Al Shamsi, CEO of Watermelon Limited; Yazan Al Qudmani, a partner in 3YAgtech agricultural consulting company and Deputy General Manager of Emirates Biological Farm; and Hussein Al Hussein, Regional Director of Farm to Belt.
On this occasion, Alameeri said: “We move forward in the Year of Sustainability armed with a spirit of determination and commitment to building a more sustainable and resilient future for the UAE. The task force to enhance the (National Farm Sustainability Initiative) will play a pivotal role in enhancing food security and will serve as a model for change in adopting sustainable environmental practices.”
He added: “The formation of the task force, which includes seasoned experts from various sectors, is an important step towards enhancing the UAE’s food security and ensuring the well-being of its society. The task force will work to increase government purchases of local products to 50% by the end of 2023, an ambitious but achievable goal. There is no doubt that the UAE’s journey towards sustainability is a shared responsibility. The formation of the task force is tangible evidence of the power of teamwork among the member institutions and our common vision to enhance food security and sustainability in the UAE.”
The task force working on enhancing the National Farms Sustainability Initiative enjoys the support of ten entities: the Government of Ajman, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, Emirates Health Services (EHS), Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, Abu Dhabi Health Department, Sharjah Agriculture and Animal Wealth Department, Dubai Police General Command, Abu Dhabi Police General Command, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The cooperation of these institutions is a tangible demonstration of their shared understanding of the importance of local food security and their collective will to build a sustainable future.
The National Farms Sustainability aims to make citizens’ farms a primary source of crops and products for major food supply companies operating in the UAE. This is achieved by establishing a mechanism to organize purchases of national food products, developing a database of local government needs and other entities for fresh national food products, and obtaining production quantities from national farms.
The initiative also seeks to adopt a list of types of fresh national food products, prepare a plan to increase the percentage of purchases for government entities and other bodies of national food products, and establish an evaluation and follow-up mechanism to ensure the execution of purchases specific to national food products. Additionally, it aims to provide a structured mechanism for companies specializing in sustainable agricultural production to supervise the availability of products from farms to related entities.
In the upcoming months, the task force for National Farms Sustainability Initiative will work on finding new partnerships to enhance purchases of national farm products for various relevant entities in the state. The task force will inform the public about its progress, strategies, and plans in the upcoming period.
Source: Tariq Al Fahaam/Hatem Mohamed, Emirates News Agency (WAM)