UAE Minister of Food Security holds roundtable on Global Food Security Index

Innovation in agriculture key to food security

Abu Dhabi, UAE: H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security in the UAE, has held a further meeting with the UAE’s food security stakeholders and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), following last week’s announcement on the innovation-driven Food Security Roadmap for the Middle East and the UAE’s bid to become one of the world’s top 10 food secure nations.

The meeting was held in Abu Dhabi with EIU officials, developers of the Global Food Security Index, ahead of the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), which opens tomorrow at ADNEC. H.E. Almheiri will address the GFIA opening ceremony on the role of innovation in agriculture as a key factor for enhancing food security in the Middle East.

“The meeting that I had with UAE food security stakeholders and representatives of the Economist Intelligence Unit was the next step in progressing deliberations on the Food Security innovation driven Roadmap, we discussed the region’s performance trends since the previous index, conducted an analysis of key strengths and weaknesses, discussed an overview of the main implications for the region and analysed regional cooperation initiatives. We also reviewed a comparative analysis of other countries’ food security indices, including Singapore, whilst also hearing from the EIU on recommendations for improving performance and enhancing discussions between stakeholders on how best we could apply these to the region,” said H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security in the UAE.

“From our meeting, we will now look to action the immediate steps to move forward, ensuring that these are aligned to the National Food Security Strategy and our national efforts. The key take-out from our meeting was that innovation remains at the core of this vision, we must strengthen food security for a better future of the region and that food security will not be a luxury rather a necessity which requires todays action. We look forward to further workshops at the forum this week, which we will be participating in, and also learning more about the 50 new innovations that will be showcased at GFIA at ADNEC this week,” Her Excellency added.

Thamer Rashed Al Qasemi, Chairman of GFIA Organising Committee, added: “GFIA is held in strategic sponsorship and  partnership with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, is endorsed by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and supported by the Ministry of Food Security to encourage the adoption of new technologies in the agricultural sector and advancement of facilitating global agri-business trade in the nation for the benefit of food security. This year GFIA will focus on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can drive progress in agriculture towards increasing food production and ensuring food security. The conference programme will include panel discussions on strategies for implementation and explore cross cutting issues to enable artificial intelligence in food production such as financing, deployment of technology, data IP and regulatory approval.”

He added: “In a region with water scarcity and a small proportion of arable land, technology that uses sustainable production, water efficiency, without chemicals and delivers clean and traceable foods will also be essential to food security. Sustainable and efficient ways of food security production is the key objective of GFIA to support local and international efforts to strengthen food security.”

GFIA is the leading food security event in the region addressing food security challenges for the past 6 editions of the two-day conference and exhibition.

GFIA is addressing the food security challenges by focusing on food production, high-tech agriculture solution to overcome the challenges in 5 key verticals: Indoor Farming and Hydroponics, Livestock and Animal Production, Date Palm Production, Aqua Tech, and Sustainable Crops. GFIA is designed to help food producers to produce more food by introducing innovations and new trends, research and development (R&D), subsidization and stockpiling policies, and food loss strategies. GFIA also offers local farmers the opportunity to benefit from substantial discounts on agriculture products at the exhibition.

Over 100 countries will exhibit their products and projects promoting sustainable food production to more than 7,500 visitors expected to attend the free conference and exhibition from the 1st-2nd April 2019. GFIA will include over 50 ag-tech innovations from across the world being showcased for the first time in Abu Dhabi and the GFIA Innovation Awards will recognize innovations which will improve global food security. GFIA is co-located with the 2nd ApiArab Expo, 2nd Arab Beekeeping International Conference and for the first time in the UAE, the 15th Annual Asian Apicultural Association (AAA) Conference.

To register to attend the free forum and conference visit: