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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

UAE banks on fish to ensure the country's future food security

Aquaculture sector is key to providing food across the region

Young sturgeon at a farm in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi. Silvia Razgova / The National
Young sturgeon at a farm in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi. Silvia Razgova / The National

The UAE Government is to focus on the aquaculture sector in the latest move towards improving the country's future food security.

The UAE Office for Future Food Security recently held a workshop with fish farmers, as well as members of the public and private sectors, in an attempt to identify the challenges facing the industry.

Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi, Minister of State for Future Food Security, said: “The UAE Government has a clear plan to ensure future food security, which includes supporting local agricultural production and developing it to meet international standards.

“We have a great opportunity to create added value by tapping into the competitive advantages of the aquaculture sector, forecasting the future of this industry, capitalising on its strengths and overcoming the challenges that face it.”

She said the plan is to established the UAE as a key player in the international food sector.

Organised in collaboration with the Dubai Future Accelerators team and ahead of the National Strategy for Future Food Security, which is due to be announced in September 2018, the workshop discussed methods to improve the production and supply chain as well as to develop and adapt relevant legislation.

The workshop also explored ways to improve the way fish is marketed and to spread awareness about the high quality of the UAE’s agricultural output.

The aim of the workshop was to increase demand and, subsequently, boost production, leading to the establishment of more farms to cultivate several species of fish, oysters and shrimp.

Earlier in the week, The National reported that Ms Al Mehairi had called for stronger regional ties across the MENA region to ensure food security in the UAE.

She said that small and medium enterprises can play an important role in increasing the level of food being produced in the region.

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