UAE Office for Future Food Security Explores Prospects for Aquaculture in the UAE

  • The Office held a workshop with representatives from the public and private sectors to examine the necessary legislation and infrastructure.

The UAE Office for Future Food Security held a workshop with representatives from established fish farms across the UAE, along with other stakeholders from the public and private sectors, to explore the key challenges facing the development of Aquaculture in the country.

Organised in collaboration with the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) team, and in preparation for the National Strategy for Future Food Security, which is set 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 to the requirements of the market, the stakeholders and fish farmers.

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Future Food Security, said: “The UAE Government has a clear plan to ensure future food security, which includes, most notably, supporting local agricultural production and developing it to meet international standards. This, in turn, establishes the UAE as a key player in the food sector – a strategic goal for the local economy.”

“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,” H.E. explained, underlining the importance of exchanging knowledge and expertise in this regard and encouraging research and development in the sector.

Participants in the workshop explored potential practices to increase production to meet the needs of the market, bridging the gap between production and consumption. They discussed mechanisms to enhance the competitiveness of products in terms of prices, improve product specifications, and strengthen governance and control procedures for fish products on the market, in addition to drafting guides that cover all requirements, specifications and standards in accordance with international best practices.

The discussion focused on the necessary mechanisms and legislation to facilitate the cultivation and breeding of fish in farms, which include standardising procedures for permits, certificates and licenses for the establishment of Aquafarms at the federal and local levels; creating a single permit that allows farmers to establish their farms, as well as to import and export products. These permits can be issued independently, which encourages domestic and foreign investment in these facilities.

The workshop also looked into ways to improve marketing of fish products, and spread awareness about the high quality of the UAE’s agricultural output. This serves to increase demand and, subsequently, boost production, leading to the establishment of more farms to cultivate several species of fish, oysters, and shrimp, among others.

Last but not least, participants examined the prospects of implementing advanced technologies and Fourth-Industrial-Revolution breakthroughs in the production and supervision process, which presents a substantial economic opportunity for local farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural sectors.

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