x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Plan for food, water and medicine reserve to be drafted

The Cabinet in April will receive a plan to create a food, water and medicine reserve for the Emirates.

ABU DHABI // A plan to set up a food, water and medicine reserve will be submitted to the Cabinet by the middle of April, a Government official told the FNC today.

The country currently has enough reserves to last between one to five months in all major food staples, said Mohammed Khalfan al Rumaithi, the director general of the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority.

Hospitals also have enough medicine supplies to last six months, said Mr al Rumaithi, but he avoided stating how long the UAE’s water reserves would last if supplies were cut.

Mr al Rumaithi said his agency, which has been tasked with setting up the strategic reserve plan, also intended to deliver proposals that included creating a seaborne fleet that delivers food supplies to the UAE during crises, and investing in farms abroad.

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FNC plans to create six-month food reserve

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Figures released in a committee report today on food security show that the UAE imports 68 per cent of its food. Other reports indicate that the food import figure for the UAE is closer to 85 per cent.

The FNC committee said there is no overarching food-security plan for the UAE, and efforts so far have been “scattered”.

The population increase in the UAE has led to an annual 12-percent increase in food consumption. The committee complained that 59 firms control the food market in the UAE, which has led to “monopolisation” and cartel-like behavior in the food industry.

This, they said, has led to unfair increases in prices and limited supplies.

kshaheen@thenational.ae