Food security takes centre stage in Capital
abu dhabi — With several factors threatening global food supply, agriculture leaders are coming together to address food security challenges at the second edition of Agriscape, which will be held on October 29-30 at the Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi.
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Food Security Centre Abu Dhabi (FSCAD), Agriscape has been coordinating policies and feedback for the agriculture industry across the world.
It is held under the Patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs.
In the UAE, 90 per cent of food needs are imported due to its arid climate, making food security a national priority. As it seeks to boost local food production by 40 per cent, the country continues to diversify its economy and improve the efficiency of sectors such as agriculture.
Mariam bint Hareb Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Future Food Security, said: “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.”
Al Muhairi added that food security is one of the biggest challenges the world 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,” Al Muhairi said.
Global solutions sought
Rising global populations and the resulting pressure on the waterenergy-food nexus has created an urgent need for sustainable solutions. Depleting natural resources have raised several social, economic, and environmental challenges that call for policies that guarantee uninterrupted food supply under any circumstances.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation 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 conflictprone regions, adverse climate events, and economic distress, FAO estimates that the number of undernourished people globally is now 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 per cent.
The growth in agricultural production will shift patterns of resource generation and consumption, while the effects of climate change, such as severe droughts and shrinking watersheds, threaten to impact the geographical distribution of the world population.