UAE unveils ambitious food security initiative
The UAE government has joined hands with the Arab Federation for Food Industries and AR Group to roll out an ambitious initiative to support food security in the Arab world and address the famine in the African Horn. The initiative, to be spearheaded by the UAE ministries of economy and environment, will leverage the Second Arab Food Industries Forum 2012 as a strategic platform to tackle the critical food security status in the Horn of Africa countries.
The forum will be held on January 4 at Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Economy. It will witnesses wide participation by Arab Ministers of Economy and Agriculture; ministers from the Horn of Africa and top officials from regional and international organizations specialized in food industries and food security. They will discuss a range of important issues related to food security and food industries. Sultan Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, said the forum will play a key role in addressing food security in the Arab world and reduce the risk of famines in African countries. “The initiative will discuss the development of radical solutions to stimulate and promote food production through technology transfer, innovation and the adoption of best practices.
This is particularly crucial for the Horn of Africa countries, which is witnessing one of the worst food crises ever.” Al Mansoori said a range of effective solutions will be proposed at the Forum to address the food crisis that threatens lives of millions of people in the Horn of Africa. 'We look at this event as an ideal platform to highlight our national food industries, share experiences and build partnerships with leading companies.” 'We look forward to participating in a working paper on the evolution of the food industry in the UAE and to activate joint actions that support this vital sector in the Arab countries.' 'We are keen to review the challenges facing Arab food industries and to develop effective solutions and recommendations that would support the growth of these industries and enhance its competitiveness at the regional and international levels,' he added.
Al Mansoori said the UAE food industry's steady growth over the past years led the focus of the government to promote industries and drive economic diversification. “The growth in industrial infrastructure has contributed to the inception of some 150 food industries, with the food sector accounting for nearly 46 percent of the total volume of non-oil investments in the country,” he observed. Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment & Water, lauded the economy ministry for its support to the forum and its commitment to address food security in the Arab world and famine in the Horn of Africa. He said that the UAE's support to the Forum will enrich the debate and dialogue on the status of the best solutions and recommendations to promote the food industry in the Arab world while encouraging joint Arab action. Dr Haitham Al Jaffan, president of the Arab Federation for Food Industries praised the UAE’s move to adopt the initiative and host the forum. He called for an emergency plan to enhance food production to address the food security and shortage challenges. Emad Abu Rafi, director general of AR Group, the forum organizers, said the event will focus on arriving at solutions to address the food crisis in the Horn of Africa. He underlined the need to transfer specialized expertise in food production and modern farming techniques to ease famine and provide food resources to the countries experiencing a critical food crisis. He said that the revenues from the forum will go towards rehabilitating the victims of the famine in the Horn of Africa.