Stressing the need for urgency, Ms. Mariam Hareb Al Mheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, at the United Nations (UN) food Systems Summit said that the world must act now to achieve zero-hunger by 2030.
In the all-virtual summit, which is being held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session in New York, the minister said that there is no more time for planning in the run-up to 2030, a timeframe that the UN has declared as the ‘Decade of Action.’ Ms. Al Mheiri reiterated that the combined efforts of all parties are necessary for the world to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 2.
Ms. Al Mheiri highlighted how the UAE’s National Pathway for Food Systems Transformation, derived from the UAE’s Vision 2021 and the National Food Security Strategy 2051, could lead a path to the global community to reach SDG 2, with its commitment to reshape its own food security by leveraging technology, innovation and sustainability thus creating a model for other countries to follow.
UAE’s National Food Security Strategy includes five goals such as strengthening food supply chains, increasing innovation in the food value chain, reducing food loss and waste, improving food safety and nutrition, as well as mitigating food risks and crises.
“The magnitude of the task that faces the global community in meeting SDG 2, Zero Hunger by 2030, is huge. The reality of the situation is that we were already struggling to meet Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. COVID has, in effect, moved the finish line. What is needed is a concerted and unrelenting effort from all stakeholders, governments, NGOs and citizens to accelerate the transformation of food systems that is necessary to get the world back on track. There is no more time to talk. We have to act and act now.”
Addressing the summit, Ms. Al Mheiri remarked that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a devastating agent to humanity, but it has also been a cause for good changes that prompted for a rapid digital transformation at every level of living which has made the world technologically driven. Further, she added that the world should seize this opportunity to effect the same transformative change with its food systems.
The UAE’s recently launched Food Tech Valley aimed to triple the UAE’s food production through adopting and integrating the latest technology across the food value chain. The new facility will represent the future of food by using modern farming techniques and the latest agri-technologies to produce over 300 varieties of crops.