Minister of Food and Water Security Leads United Nations Event to Mark World Food Day

Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri delivers keynote address at ‘The Future of Agriculture: Technology and Innovation to Grow Food in the Desert and Your Home’

Minister of Food and Water Security Leads United Nations Event to Mark World Food Day

Dubai, UAE – Agricultural technology to create sustainable food systems with the capacity to feed the word’s growing population was the topic under discussion at a virtual United Nations (UN) event held today and led by Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of Food and Water Security.

Titled: ‘The Future of Agriculture: Technology and Innovation to Grow Food in the Desert and Your Home,’ the activity was organised by the UN to mark today’s World Food Day. It was one of a series of events taking place in different time zones to celebrate the important awareness date, with the programme progressively moving from one time zone to the next.

The UAE’s activity as part of the programme placed a spotlight on agricultural technology as a means to increase domestic food production using only a fraction of the resources that traditional farming methods use. The event highlighted that the current global situation has served to emphasize the need to transform food systems and reduce reliance on global food chains, with agricultural technology able to reduce the ‘farm to fork’ distance that food has to travel.

“World Food Day is one of the most important days on our awareness calendar, highlighting as it does our relationship with food and the challenges and opportunities for humanity that surround it. This year, World Food Day has taken on even greater significance with humanity facing an unprecedented threat in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the outbreak, food security has become an even more pressing issue, with the global community having to address the array of restrictions and impositions that are now massively impacting food systems and the transport of produce,” said H.E. Almheiri.

“Now more than ever nations need to come together to find ways of ramping up the creation of sustainable food systems if we are to meet the United Nation’s goal of Zero Hunger by 2030. At the UAE Food and Water Security Office we are confident that the future of Food Security will be dominated by local farms using agricultural technology – ‘AgTech’ - in the form of, among others, Controlled Environment Agriculture” Her Excellency added.

Hosted jointly between the UN, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation and the Food & Water Security Office the one-hour virtual event to commemorate World Food Day 2020 examined the breakthrough technologies and approaches in agriculture that will reshape where and how food is produced and what the future of food looks like. It was one element of the UN’s 24-hour global relay which involved government entities in different time zones discussing their concerns and presenting important developments in their respective food security landscapes.

‘The Future of Agriculture: Technology and Innovation to Grow Food in the Desert and Your Home’ saw leaders from the UAE’s food technology sectors taking part in a panel discussion, a question and answer session, and a virtual visit to a vertical farm.