Access to quality and nutritious food is fundamental to human existence. Food security produces a wide range of positive impacts such as economic growth and poverty reduction, and has an important foreign policy dimension due to trade. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UAE imports 87% of its total food supply. Therefore, securing sustainable sources of food is a matter of national security. The Food Security Office was established in 2017 to help the UAE achieve its vision of becoming a leader in innovation-driven food security by utilizing technologies that can limit greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste whilst guaranteeing the health of the consumer.
Policies and Initiatives
- Bzar, Our Future with Food, is a cultural movement by kids-for-kids to help raise awareness on how food is produced to teach children about food sustainability. Implementation of the movement commenced in 2019
- The National Future Food Security Strategy (2018) includes 38 short and long-term initiatives within the 2021 and 2051 UAE Vision. The strategy includes five strategic objectives to facilitate food trade, diversify food import sources and identify alternative supply schemes
- Agricultural Technology Adaptation Accelerator Program (AgTech) 2018 is an initiative to foster the adoption of sustainable technologies to promote agriculture in marginal environments through an interactive platform. The aim is to establish an agricultural business environment that supports the UAE’s water and food security
- Food Valley Platform is a unified platform to document all relevant research and critical information to researchers that will help boost research and development (R&D) in that sector. The platform is under development and will include information such as R&D papers, funding sources, and a patent management process.
Population growth will increase demand for food which can increase the UAE’s vulnerability to external risks such as price shocks, political risks and physical risks related to low availability of food on the global market as a result of crop failures.