ABU DHABI: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) today launched the Phase I of “Tamkeen” initiative to nurture the UAE’s nationals and bolster their role in advancing the country's food security by providing them with cutting-edge skills, expertise, experiences and the latest best practices in agriculture, veterinary, and associated technical fields.

The initiative will increase the percentage of Emiratisation in technical jobs by engaging and training approximately 60 Emirati graduates in its first phase. The comprehensive training programme, designed for those specialisations in agriculture, veterinary medicine, veterinary sciences, and animal production, will be carried out across three cohorts of 20 graduates each and conclude by the end of 2025. Exceptional participants will be handpicked for employment opportunities in a range of the ministerial sectors and locations across the UAE.

The initiative was launched at an event attended by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, alongside assistant under-secretaries and representatives from the ministry's various sectors.

In her address, Mariam Almheiri underscored that the wise UAE leadership prioritises engaging young specialists to contribute to the nation's various strategic goals, which include bolstering food security through domestic efforts.

Almheiri said, “The UAE is committed to enhancing its food security by seeking innovative solutions to address some of its key challenges, such as the scarcity of arable land and water resources. This necessitates practical methods and tools to overcome these obstacles, such as advancing modern agriculture and augmenting animal wealth for sustainable national production. The Tamkeen initiative embodies this vision by concentrating on developing participant skills in agriculture, veterinary, and other technical areas. The initiative is a nucleus for more extensive efforts to effect tangible change in our nation's agricultural and food sectors.”

Almheiri added, “The UAE is a pioneer in enhancing food security on a sustainable and environmentally-friendly basis. As the country will host COP28 later this year, there will be a great opportunity to showcase and take pride in what we have accomplished in this field. Food production through agricultural activities and animal wealth development significantly impacts global climate change.”

Addressing the participants, she said, “You are on a national mission when participating in the Tamkeen initiative. We will provide you with all means of support during your training so that we witness your imminent growth into experts and pioneers in agriculture, veterinary, and other fields. God willing, we will welcome you into the national team, where you will play a vital role in strengthening our country's food security for years to come.”

Programme participants must adhere to all guidelines issued by relevant authorities and maintain the designated working hours according to their training locations. Trainees will be monitored and assessed regularly to meet the programme's objectives. Moving forward, the initiative plans to collaborate with universities, signing agreements to recruit graduates from agricultural, veterinary, and other related fields to fulfil the programme's need for participants.

The programme will be for six to nine months, and participants will engage in various tasks during the training based on their assigned work sites. These tasks include animal healthcare, agricultural guidance, agricultural research, laboratory work, animal, and plant quarantine, implementing agricultural survey programmes, monitoring plant diseases, and issuing veterinary health certificates. In addition, trainees will be exposed to other aspects of the ministry's work, such as policymaking, legislation, food and biological diversity, and more. This comprehensive training approach will equip more Emiratis with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute effectively to developing various professional fields