SIAL Middle East 2017 highlights importance of PPP model in food security

ABU DHABI, 14th December, 2017 (WAM) — The Food Security Centre – Abu Dhabi, FSCAD, hosted the concluding session of its Food Security Roundtables on the sidelines of the eighth edition of SIAL Middle East 2017.

Titled “Government and private sector partnership model for enhancing food security in the region’s countries,” the roundtable highlighted the benefits of the public-private partnership, PPP, model in ensuring food security.

Offering officials, experts, decision-makers and relevant stakeholders a unique opportunity to exchange concerns and views on food security in the UAE and the wider region, the 60-minute session examined at length the advantages of developing national food security strategies in collaboration with the private sector. As part of this priority, the discussion explored ways in which the two sectors could complement each other in optimising food production, sourcing and distribution, and highlighted best practices in the food industry and the UAE’s food investments abroad.

The attendees listened to key insights from an expert-led five-member panel moderated by Khalifa Al Ali, Managing Director of FSCAD. Other panellists included Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority; Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi, CEO of Agthia Group; Edward Hamod, General Manager of National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing, and Abdulaziz Ahmed Bawazeer, Executive Director of Strategy and Development at ZonesCorp.

The panellists discussed the roles and responsibilities of the government and private sector, the UAE government’s agriculture subsidies, the long and short-term benefits and profits, and their priorities for both sides. Furthermore, they noted that Abu Dhabi currently boasts 3.5 million livestock, emphasising the need for more investment and partnership with small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs.

Khalifa Al Ali said, “I thank Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, for attending today’s crucial session. In addition to enhancing the UAE’s food security, the PPP model has helped UAE-based agriculture companies invest abroad.

“To date, these investments have directly and indirectly contributed to the creation of countless job opportunities. Today, owing to ‘smart’ agriculture subsidies, FSCAD is part of these overseas projects. We -government and private bodies alike- should be proud of all we have achieved, and should continue refining this framework, supporting SMEs, and awarding more government contracts to UAE-based companies.”

Running from 12th to 14th December, SIAL Middle East 2017 has drawn the participation of more than 22,000 experts and over 900 exhibitors from food security-focused entities.

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