Dubai: The UAE has formed the Emirates Food Security Council to coordinate and lead the implementation of the National Food Security Strategy in conjunction with federal and local entities.
The development follows a Cabinet decision to establish the council, whose members will include representatives from various ministers and each local government in the seven emirates, as well as a representative from the youth.
As the council’s chair, Mariam Bint Mohammad Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Food Security, presides over the decision-making of the council.
Al Muhairi said: “Implementing a national food security governance system through the council will contribute to achieving many tangible social and economic benefits by 2021, the most prominent of which will be the creation of more than 16,000 jobs in the country, increasing agricultural production by more than 100,000 tonnes, achieving economic returns of up to Dh22 billion.”
The council members include representatives from the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment, Ministry of Energy and Industry, Ministry of Health and Prevention and Ministry of Education, National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority.
“Implementing the National Food Security Strategy – which aims to enable all citizens and residents to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food for an active and healthy life at affordable prices at all times, including emergencies and crises – is a shared responsibility between federal and local government bodies, as well as the private sector and all members of society.”
The council is the central authority tasked with monitoring the implementation of the National Food Security Strategy in collaboration with various stakeholders in the UAE. The council’s tasks include overseeing the implementation of strategic plans to achieve five strategic goals, namely, facilitating global food trade and diversifying import sources; developing sustainable local production powered by technology along the entirety of the value chain; reducing food waste; ensuring food safety and improving nutrition systems; and enhancing resilience to food security risks and crises.
Furthermore, the council’s tasks include reviewing all legislation on food before it is adopted at the federal level to ensure that the National Food Security Strategy – as well as all relevant legislation – are applied in a comprehensive and integrated manner in all seven emirates.
Additionally, the council proposes regulations, legislation, and policies to enhance food security in the country; determines the investment agenda for the food sector in the UAE and abroad; and conducts assessment of the risks associated with global challenges on the food security system, such as climate change, drought, and political instability in food-exporting countries.
Furthermore, the council submits periodic reports to the Ministerial Development Council regarding the progress made, as well as initiatives, projects, and requirements that the council needs to achieve its goals. It also follows up with the Global Food Security Index and outlines programmes to achieve the UAE’s objective to be among the top 10 countries in the index by 2021 and number one by 2051.
In addition, an Advisory Committee representing the private sector, academia and relevant experts will also report to the council, with the body given the title ‘Food Security Advisory Committee.’
What will the new council do?
- Facilitating global food trade and diversifying import sources
- Developing sustainable local production
- Reducing food waste
- Ensuring food safety and improving nutrition systems
- Enhancing resilience to food security risks and crises
- Reviewing all legislation on food before it is adopted at the federal level
- Proposing regulations, legislation, and policies to enhance food security in the country
- Submitting periodic reports to the Ministerial Development Council
- Following up with the Global Food Security Index to achieve the UAE’s objectives