Dr Sultan Al Jaber reviews UAE food security strategy

Emirates’ industrial sector is vital to national food security, experts tell minister

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The industrial sector is a pivotal pillar in the UAE’s food security strategy as it becomes increasingly advanced through the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, experts told Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, during his recent visit to the headquarters of Al Dahra Group in Khalifa Industrial City (Kizad), Abu Dhabi.

Dr Al Jaber was briefed on how companies such as Al Dahra Group are vital in not only strengthening the UAE’s position as a global industrial hub, but also play an important part of the country’s overall food security strategy, which depends on resilient and agile supply chains, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology said on Monday.

Al Dahra Group specialises in the cultivation and trading of animal feed and essential food commodities such as rice, fruits and vegetables, and runs the largest rice factory in the Middle East. It operates in more than 20 countries and caters to more than 45 markets in Asia and the Middle East, employing more than 5,000 people.

“The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology is focused on stimulating the industrial sector and providing a supportive business environment for investors to enhance the contribution of the industrial sector to national GDP [gross domestic product],” Dr Al Jaber said.

“The agricultural sector is one of the vital sectors, given its pivotal role in strengthening national food security. We focus on ensuring a legislative environment that enhances their success and improves their quality and competitiveness.”

The ministry, established in July 2020, is mandated with strengthening the Emirates’ industrial sector by accelerating the adoption of advanced technologies and Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions across the value chain.

It launched Operation 300bn last year with a target of supporting 13,500 industrial companies over the next decade. It is a 10-year comprehensive strategy to increase the industrial sector's contribution to the country's GDP from the current Dh133 billion ($36.21bn) to Dh300bn.

A new brand identity campaign, Make it in the Emirates, is being rolled out as part of the strategy and the Emirates Development Bank has been tasked with providing debt and equity funding to support companies operating in the sector.

As part of his visit, Dr Al Jaber was briefed on Al Dahra Group's development plans and expansion opportunities.

The tour was part of a series of visits conducted by the minister to industrial cities in the Emirates to review companies, factories and production lines. It was also aimed at highlighting the ministry’s efforts to directly communicate with its partners in the industrial sector.

“The role of the [Al Dahra] factory is closely linked to the UAE’s national strategy for food security, which aims to develop a comprehensive national system based on the foundations of enabling sustainable food production,” Khadim Al Derei, co-founder and managing director of Al Dahra Group, said.

Dr Al Jaber was accompanied by Omar Al Suwaidi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Captain Mohamed Al Shamsi, managing director and group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports.

Updated: May 09, 2022, 7:00 PM