RAU hosts Food Security Webinar with the UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security

09 Jun 2021

The UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security joined the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) to discuss current food security challenges and opportunities in the United Arab Emirates.

Chairing the event was RAU Professor Louise Manning, Director of Knowledge Exchange, who was joined by Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, alongside Dr Bhanu Chowdhury, Dean of College of Food and Agriculture, UAE University, and Tariq Sanad, CFO of Pure Harvest, a UAE-based food technology company.

Hosted on Wednesday 19 May, the webinar explored aspects of the UAE’s food security strategy, providing an insight into how it is being delivered at a federal level and within the private sector. Some of the key themes addressed were the inception of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy and the Emirates’ Food Security Council, as well as the role that education plays in driving the food security agenda forward and the importance of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) in ensuring food security.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having served to exacerbate food insecurity across the globe, in part because of the extreme disruption caused to food supply chains, the event provided the perfect opportunity to discuss how the UAE is working to deliver a sustainable food secure future for a desert nation.

Commenting on the event, H.E. Almheiri said: “This webinar provided the perfect opportunity for important UAE food security stakeholders to come together with the UK’s next generation of innovators and leaders in agriculture to discuss how we can join efforts to tackle one of the most significant global issues – ensuring that we can feed the 10 billion people projected to be living on our planet by 2050 and do so in a sustainable manner.”

Her Excellency added: “Ensuring food security is a pressing priority, with the challenge of feeding a growing global population exacerbated by accelerating climate change. A main pillar of how we do this involves changing the way we think about food and revaluating our relationship with it. Through taking part in vital international networking events such as this, our hope is that we can inspire the industry’s future leaders by showcasing ways in which we can address food insecurity by enhancing the level of technology and innovation in our agricultural sector.”

Louise Manning said: “Ensuring food and water security is essential for communities across the world. As was shown by Pure Harvest in their presentation, using leading edge innovation in food production and packaging techniques can help all countries deliver to the sustainable development goals. Addressing food access and availability, requires us to develop greater circularity in food production, increasing the technical knowledge and skills to use resources more effectively and embed new ideas into the food production sector.”

This event marked the first collaborative engagement between the RAU and the Food and Water Security Office. Both parties will continue to explore future opportunities for collaboration and engagement as they look to further strengthen the relationship between the UK and UAE agricultural industries.  

You can watch the webinar in full below.