ABU DHABI - The UAE is continuing to strengthen its food security system, through a comprehensive range of policies that include promoting cooperation with other countries and markets, diversifying sources, and attracting local and foreign agricultural investment.

The country’s food import rate increased by 21 percent in the first half of 2022, recording over 41,000 tonnes of imported food on a daily basis, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment said.

Essa Al Hashmi, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry for Sustainable Communities and Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for Green Development and Climate Change, said the food trade is a leading national sector, noting that it has witnessed significant recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Hashmi stressed that ensuring food abundance and the continuity and sustainability of supply chains is a key goal of the ministry, and is part of its strategy to ensure the country's food security.

The ministry is also keen to make food widely available, in cooperation and coordination with federal and local authorities, he added, affirming that according to data on border crossings, the previous months witnessed the entry of large food consignments into the country, which included commodities and products that were sold in local markets, as well as others that were re-exported, as the UAE is one of the world’s leading re-exporting centres.

Al Hashmi explained the country’s efforts to provide food and ensure the sustainability of supply chains, including a diverse range of imports from all countries, most notably India, Brazil, Canada, the US, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Pakistan.

He then highlighted the UAE’s efforts to ensure the availability of food and the continuity of supply chains, which involve the expansion of foreign agricultural investment operations in other countries, with a focus on strategic food crops, such as wheat, rice, vegetables and fruits, and livestock, stressing that the ministry has adopted the highest food safety systems to ensure compliance to its requirements and specifications.