UAE signs MoU with Philippines to ensure food supply

Dubai: The UAE is
exploring opportunities in the Philippines to ensure the availability
of certain food stocks in the country, an official said.

Agricultural attache
for the Middle East Gil Herico said a memorandum of understanding
between the two countries has recently been signed to find ways on how
the Philippines can help the UAE ensure its food supply.

“Some officials here
have already approached us to address their food security issue. I
believe our country can help the UAE meet its food requirement. Other
countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain are also looking at
the Philippines as the major source of their food basket,” Herico told
Gulf News.

Herico said the
Philippines may be facing a rice shortage, but it can boost the UAE’s
stocks of certain other food products, such as bananas, pineapples,
corn, vegetables and other farm and poultry items.

About 99 per cent of the bananas and pineapples sold in the UAE are already sourced from the Philippines, Herico said.

“Our poultry farms in Mindanao are getting hundreds of tonnes of orders from the UAE,” he added.

The Philippines is now
intensifying efforts to become a major player in the $500 billion
(Dh1.84 trillion) global halal market, so the UAE can count on the
Philippines as a reliable supplier of food products permissible under

The Philippines’
Department of Agriculture (DA) officials earlier called on industry
partners to support a proposal to craft a new law creating a national
agency that will exclusively focus on the halal industry in the

Nando Kumar, corporate
communications manager of LuLu Hypermarkets, said the UAE is an
attractive market for ethnic food products, such as those imported from
the Philippines, considering the growing number of Asian expatriates in
the country.