Founding Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor welcomed Her Excellency Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi, UAE Minister of State for Food Security, at the Al Habtoor Group head office on Monday 26 March 2018. They discussed global food insecurity and the United Arab Emirates agricultural efforts to plan for the future.
Her Excellency told Al Habtoor that food security is a “complex issues” and that for the UAE to be a successful food exporter it requires the cooperation between the public and private sector. She said that Abu Dhabi currently produces 120 tonnes of hammour fish per year.
HE Al Mehairi added that the UAE is aware of the challenges ahead including global environmental changes and worldwide population increases, which put a strain on future supplies. She said Urban Farming is the future. Her Excellency said that engaging the UAE youth is of paramount importance for the UAE to meet future demand. “We need to make our agricultural sector an economy of scale to ensure there is adequate supply for our growing population and to cement our position as an agricultural exporter,” she said. “We need to engage the youth to optimise our potential.”
The Minister said the UAE is studying many options including the launch of hightech greenhouses. She highlighted the importance of pilot studies to encourage the private sector to invest in the agricultural industry. She said the studies would prove that farming in the UAE is a profitable business.