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Daily Archives: July 6, 2018

UAE banks on fish to ensure the country’s future food security

UAE banks on fish to ensure the country’s future food security

The UAE Government is to focus on the aquaculture sector in the latest move towards improving the country’s future food security.

The UAE Office for Future Food Security recently held a workshop with fish farmers, as well as members of the public and private sectors, in an attempt to identify the challenges facing the industry.

Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mehairi, Minister of State for Future Food Security, said: “The UAE Government has a clear plan to ensure future food security, which includes supporting local agricultural production and developing it to meet international standards.

“We have a great opportunity to create added value by tapping into the competitive advantages of the aquaculture sector, forecasting the future of this industry, capitalising on its strengths and overcoming the challenges that face it.”

She said the plan is to established the UAE as a key player in the international food sector.

Organised in collaboration with the Dubai Future Accelerators team and ahead of the National Strategy for Future Food Security, which is due to be announced in September 2018, the workshop discussed methods to improve the production and supply chain as well as to develop and adapt relevant legislation.

The workshop also explored ways to improve the way fish is marketed and to spread awareness about the high quality of the UAE’s agricultural output.

The aim of the workshop was to increase demand and, subsequently, boost production, leading to the establishment of more farms to cultivate several species of fish, oysters and shrimp.

Earlier in the week, The National reported that Ms Al Mehairi had called for stronger regional ties across the MENA region to ensure food security in the UAE.

She said that small and medium enterprises can play an important role in increasing the level of food being produced in the region.

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Read more:

Dubai’s lavish hotel and restaurant displays a major source of food waste, campaigners say

Think tank to tackle food security concerns

Source

http://thenational.ae/uae/uae-banks-on-fish-to-ensure-the-country-s-future-food-security-1.746778

Agriculture minister looks to Sarawak to boost food security

Agriculture minister looks to Sarawak to boost food security

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub speaks to Malay Mail at the Ministry of Agriculture in Putrajaya July 3, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub speaks to Malay Mail at the Ministry of Agriculture in Putrajaya July 3, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub’s main agenda for his upcoming official visit to Sarawak will be on improving the nation’s rice production and food security.

Salahuddin said in an exclusive interview with the Malay Mail yesterday, he wants to speak to Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg about utilising land in the state for big scale rice farming.

“There’s large tracts of land there (Sarawak). This weekend I will pay a visit on their Chief Minister.

“I’ve also a programme with my Ministry (counterpart) in Sarawak. This will be the main agenda I will have with the Sarawak Chief Minister — to plant rice and other agriculture industry (activities),” said Salahuddin.

Currently Malaysia produces enough food to sustain only 70 per cent of the population. Salahuddin wants to come up with a constructive strategic plan to achieve 80 per cent food sustainability in the next three years.

He said that food security is the core of his ministry’s “business” and admitted currently local food production is insufficient.

“We still need to import (food), based on United Nations index our sustainability (rice) can only last us for 22 days,” said Salahuddin adding that the government is looking at new technologies and approach to improve domestic food sustainability.

Last year Malaysia imported 725,533 metric tonnes (mt) of rice with Vietnam supplying nearly half of the imports at 45.8 per cent (332,781 mt), while Thailand came at a close second supplying 39.2 per cent (284,292 mt) of the total imports.

In total the nation imported rice from 14 countries, including Cambodia (5.3 per cent), India (5 per cent) and Pakistan (4.2 per cent) where the imports were considered to be quite substantial.

Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, Myanmar, Taiwan, USA, Uruguay, Korea and Indonesia on the other hand supplied less than one per cent of Malaysia’s total rice imports.

Salahuddin’s Sarawak visit will be part of his agenda to push the nation’s food productivity to 80 per cent of the population. His ministry still needs to come up with a proposal for the Sarawak government.

He also said he was not worried about possible threats of economic sanctions from the European Union on possible mass logging to open up new agricultural lands as he only wants to utilise readily available land.

“We don’t need to cut our forests just to have land in Sarawak. There’s no need for it because there are already land in Sarawak.

“But we need to be serious and the Sarawak government must also work hand in hand with my ministry so that this plan will be successfully implemented,” Salahuddin said.

Another idea the newly-minted minister wants to implement to increase domestic sustainability is utilising abandoned lands for crop production although at the moment it is still on the drawing board.

“Special crops will be planted on these abandoned lands. I don’t have the figure now but we will utilise these lands. For instance, in Felda there are lands that are not used and we will try to do it in the whole country.

“Whether we can achieve it or not remains to be seen and we talk about it later,” said Salahuddin.

Source

http://food.einnews.com/article/454243721/eW7PKxpE9lZMe4yl?ref=rss&ecode=vEN5iKJhZV-LzSYh

FAO: Importation a boost to food security in PH

FAO: Importation a boost to food security in PH

The Philippines and Indonesia are expected to report the largest improvement in food security in the whole Asean region over the next decade, according to the latest outlook from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

The FAO, which published its agricultural outlook for the year 2018 to 2027 on Wednesday, said both countries were seen to benefit the most from the region’s continuing market integration. This meant a reduction in the countries’ undernourished population by 5 percent.

“The 5 percent fall in undernourishment accounts for both the benefits from price falls in some countries and costs from price rises in others,” the report said.

The integration of regional rice markets, specifically, was seen to help mitigate weather risks. The Philippines’ and Indonesia’s increased access to rice imports “could offset the food insecurity impact of a regional El Niño or of domestic crop failure.”

These two factors, according to FAO, were the largest risks to food security for both countries.

Based on the study, the shift to larger import volumes would depress domestic prices of rice in Indonesia and Philippines, which are projected to decline by as much as 39 percent and 45 percent, respectively, over the decade—the highest across the region.

Nonetheless, it noted that both countries’ domestic consumption would continue to be provided locally. Indonesia and Philippines’ reliance on domestic rice output is seen to decrease to 89 percent and 73 percent, respectively, from the current levels of 99 percent and 86 percent, respectively.

The organization said “this highlights that in both countries, regional integration and a vibrant and internationally competitive rice sector can indeed coexist.”

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