Abu Dhabi gathers agricultural sector leaders to address global food security challenges

ABU DHABI, 13th October, 2018 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi will host the second edition of Agriscape, an international exhibition dedicated to agricultural investments abroad, at the Rosewood Hotel on 29-30 October.

Now in its second edition, the event will take place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. This eminent gathering, which has already established a distinguished international reputation within agricultural investment, will feature leading agricultural exhibitors and hundreds of buyers from around the world.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Food Security Center Abu Dhabi (FSCAD), Agriscape is performing a vital role in coordinating policy responses in this vitally important area at both regional and international levels. FSCAD was established in 2010 to ensure the access of all citizens and residents to healthy, safe and nutritious food, even during periods of crisis. Over the past five years, the food security landscape in the UAE has significantly changed from agricultural investments towards a full-fledged food industry.

Thanks to the continued support of the country’s wise leadership for sustainable development, the UAE government is offering its own unique perspective on securing food and leading global efforts to seek the solutions needed.

According to Mariam Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, “The UAE’s leadership recognizes the importance of food security as a key component of its national agenda. Considering investment in agriculture abroad an important priority to achieve food security, the country is adopting a proactive approach by increasing agricultural efficiency, and introducing new irrigation technologies to make farms and greenhouses less water intensive.”

Almheiri added: “Food security is one of the biggest challenges we will face in the future, with the issue likely to become increasingly important with global prices set to rise as demand increases in the years to come. According to the Global Food Security Index issued by Economist Intelligence Unit in 2017, the UAE is considered a food secure country and ranked 33rd in food security. However, we are aiming to become one of the most food secure countries in the world by identifying the most important agricultural sector trends and highlighting the many business and investment opportunities available.”

Khalifa Al Ali, CEO of FSCAD, “Investing in the agriculture sector abroad is a key component of FSCAD’s strategy to ensure a robust food supply chain and enhance national food security. As more UAE-based companies are investing in agricultural land abroad, FSCAD seeks to work with these companies and help them overcome the challenges they face to achieve food security. To ensure uninterrupted and sustainable food supply for the country, it is imperative to explore new investment opportunities abroad that will secure supply routes, stabilize food prices and drive growth in agricultural productivity. As the entity mandated to achieve national food security for the UAE, FSCAD seeks work with its strategic partners to strengthen our food security resilience while working productively with international decision makers and investors.”

Rising global populations and the resultant pressure on the water-energy-food nexus has created an urgent need for sustainable solutions to the many social, economic and environmental challenges raised by the depletion of natural resources while developing policies that guarantee uninterrupted food supply under any circumstances.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently reported that for the third year in a row, there has been a rise in the number of people living in food insecurity whose number may have now reached one-eighth of the world population. Due to instability in conflict-prone regions, adverse climate events and economic distress, the FAO estimates that the number of undernourished people globally now amounts to nearly 821 million.

With the total global population expected to reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, the agriculture production needs to be increased by 70 percent to keep up with the demand for food which will rise exponentially as a result of rapid population growth. The growth in agricultural production will shift patterns of resource generation and consumption, while the effects of climate change threaten to impact the geographical distribution of world population due to severe droughts, shrinking watersheds and alterations to global distributions of productive agriculture.

One of the key priorities of food security in the UAE is enhancing the diversity of the country’s economy as it will improve the efficiency of related-economic sectors especially agriculture. Agriculture is of special importance to the UAE as the country seeks to boost the local food production by 40 per cent. This poses a real challenge for the UAE which imports 90 per cent of its food needs due to its arid climate, making food security a key national priority.

Al Dahra, the Headline Sponsor of Agriscape 2018, is an agribusiness leader with a global profile and operations in more than 30 countries covering the entire range of cultivation, animal feed and food commodities through a sophisticated supply chain serving more than 45 markets.

Khdeim Al Derhi, Deputy Chairman of Al Dahra, said: “With a particularly strong presence in Asia and the Middle East, Al Dahra caters to a wide client base including leading government and commercial clients. Reflecting the critical importance of secure food supplies for national and global security, Agriscape plays a crucial role in creating and nurturing partnerships and channeling the investment needed to implement actionable food security solutions. We are proud to be associated with an event that offers an excellent forum for business leads to interact and identify the most promising investment opportunities going forward.”

Agriscape 2018 will also host several foreign ministers of agriculture and senior decision makers of internationally prominent companies operating in the agricultural sectors of more than 50 countries worldwide. The Brazilian presence is particularly strong this year.

Blairo Maggi, Minister of Agriculture of Brazil, attending Agriscape, said: “Over the next few decades, rapid population growth in emerging economies will boost demand for agricultural commodities and urbanization will shift patterns of resource generation and consumption. In addition, the effects of climate change will magnify the problem by causing severe droughts, shrinking watersheds and altering the global distribution of productive agriculture. Given this context, Agriscape 2018 is performing an invaluable function in encouraging investment in this fundamentally important sector and stimulating the global drive to secure food and aid those facing food deprivation.”

Thanks to the insightful vision of its wise leadership, the UAE is seeking to race against time to proactively address the challenges it is facing in food security domain through stepping up international collaboration to protect the precious natural resources across the world.

Through events such as Agriscape 2018, international policy makers and business leaders are addressing urgent food security challenges for the benefit of populations around the world.



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