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Friday, June 2, 2023

UAE is building cornerstone for its food security program

“Food security”, once regarded as an emerging theme, has now become a core theme in the world. The global food crisis has worsened after countries’ ambitions to increase local supplies and lower prices have driven up restrictions on food trade.

With more than 200 million people globally at risk of severe food insecurity, the World Bank has joined forces with Group of Seven (G7) countries to increase its commitment to finance projects. Based on a framework of four key themes, the projects aim to promote food and nutrition security and strengthen food systems, while reducing associated risks.

zero hunger

While the World Bank has pledged more than $12 billion over the past year, pressures and rampant inflation surrounding global trade routes — and worsening climate change — have raised questions about whether those efforts are sustainable. Are there other options?

In the UAE, the National Food Security Strategy 2051 is moving towards the goal of Zero Hunger by implementing efficient and sustainable resilient agricultural practices. In fact, the UAE tops the Middle East and North Africa region in the 2022 Global Food Security Index (GFSI) and is on track to become the top globally by 2051.

Sustainable development is an emerging theme in the UAE and a key element of the national agenda. As the country embarks on its journey to become a regional hub for food production, food trade, agtech and food science and technology, it is critical that sustainability and ESG become key considerations for efficiency and quality benchmarking in the wider context. important.

make investment worthwhile

The UAE has rapidly accelerated the recovery of food trade in the wake of the pandemic, with growth of more than 20% compared to the previous year. However, while the many food and agricultural trade agreements that countries sign will play an important role in achieving their goals, the overarching theme that is expected to drive the country and the world towards food security is advances in agricultural technology and food science and technology.

In 2021, the UAE received US$50 billion, accounting for 1.1% of global agtech investment capital, with 66% of the investment coming from investors in the UAE. As such, the country, with its 60+ agtech companies and its approach to integrating sustainability into their operations, can make a real difference.

With the world’s increasing commitment to sustainable development coupled with advances in agricultural technology, alternative proteins are heralding solutions for building long-term sustainable and resilient food and agricultural systems. The benefits of alternative protein could help countries meet sustainable development goals, including carbon emissions and alleviating concerns about the ethical and environmental consequences of intensive animal farming, while also significantly boosting nutrition and local production.

Alternative protein

In fact, the global alternative protein market is worth $60 billion by 2021, and forecasts point to a staggering 18.5% CAGR between 2022-28 to reach nearly $200 billion by 2028. Although the demand is driven by several factors, including the growing importance of protein-rich diets and health products, its success still depends on global legislation and industry practices.

As the UAE drives further change by supporting its more than 10 agtech accelerators, the role of renowned local industry leaders is to support up-and-coming companies to succeed in their journey to develop quality food. And raise consumer awareness of the need to work together to address food shortages.

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