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The importance of Food Security in the UAE

food security in the UAE

These days the UAE pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is hosting an exhibition titled On Foraging: Food Knowledge and Environmental Imaginaries in the UAE’s Landscape. This new exhibition focuses on sustainable agriculture food security in the UAE. 

The event, held under the patronage of HE Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, and HE Mariam Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has been commissioned by Warehouse 421, a home-grown arts and design center dedicated to showcasing and nurturing creative production across the region. The exhibition showcases 11 works by UAE-based international and local artists. 

Main themes of the exhibition

Climate change, sustainable environmental practices, and food knowledge are among the main themes of the Expo. The UAE pavilion aims at showing the transformations and innovative solutions for agriculture and food security that the country introduced over the past 50 years. This transformation is particularly remarkable if we consider that the landscape of the UAE is not naturally suitable for farming.

Among the eleven works are Nujoom Al Ghanem’s ethnographic documentary exploring the bee-keeping communities in the mountains of the UAE. 

Tarek Al Ghoussein presents large-scale photographs that describe how the natural environment travels with people, highlighting the relationship between cultural and environmental imaginaries. 

Reem Falaknaz captures, through a series of images, the intergenerational relationships to the land, revealing a story of kinship between people and the environment. 

Ammar Al Attar documents seasonal fruit trees within domestic spaces in the UAE, capturing the role of indigenous plants as a marker of seasonal change. 

Food for Future Summit & Expo

In the frame of food security, Dubai World Trade Centre has launched its brand-new Food for Future Summit & Expo in association with Expo 2020 Dubai’s Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week. Hosted by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), the Summit will take place on February 23rd and 24th and aims to reinforce the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy. 

Key focus sectors will include AI & Nutrition, IoT, cloud solutions, UAV, robotics and drones, automation, adaptive irrigation, grow lighting, data management, supply chain management, climate-smart agriculture, food loss and waste, controlled environment, ICT in agriculture, mechanization, organic agriculture, precision agriculture, biotechnology, soil-plant health, saltwater agriculture, renewable energy, and water management.

The Summit will also host the UAE Food Technology Challenge and the region’s first dedicated Agri-Tech food contest for startups, the MENA Agri-Food Tech Challenge.

Agri-tech initiatives spread across the Middle East and North Africa, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt. The UAE is turning into a new Food Tech Valley and has established the Emirates Food Security Council (EFSCC) to enhance food security and meet National Food Security Strategy goals.

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