The UAE currently imports more than 85% of its food, and events such as the pandemic have demonstrated that improving food security is a priority. The country’s government has been quick to recognise its importance and has acted decisively to push towards more self-sustaining practices. Now, the UAE aims to harness the innovation taking place here and export it to the world.
The country’s capital, Abu Dhabi, has been a central part of these efforts. In recent years, the emirate has become a world-class AgTech hub – and this drive for innovative solutions is creating significant opportunities for global businesses and investors.
Turning the tide
The UAE is making big moves to overcome its challenges. In 2018, it launched its National Food Security Strategy 2051, aiming to ensure access to safe, nutritious food through resilient and sustainable agricultural practices. In June 2020, the Cabinet approved the national system for sustainable agriculture to improve the efficiency of farms and enhance self-sufficiency, including cutting annual water consumption by irrigation by 15%.
Technology is the way forward
Addressing global-scale food security challenges requires a radical, innovative approach. Technology will be fundamental to finding a new way forward for agriculture. For example, the internet of things (IoT) is one technology that is transforming the way we farm. Agricultural organizations report a range of advantages that come from using IoT. Improved operational efficiencies rank first, closely followed by enhanced insight and decision-making. With efficiency being top of Abu Dhabi’s objectives for agriculture, the value of this technology is clear. Cost reduction also features in the top five advantages, an obvious plus for business operators.
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