DUBAI, Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, today toured the Ali Mohammed Al Owais Farm in Dadna in the emirate of Fujairah.
The farm produces watermelon, cantaloupe, and other crops using drip irrigation to reduce water waste.
Dr Al Nuaimi met with the farm managers to discuss major challenges facing farmers in the area, and instructed accompanying officials from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, to find solutions to these issues with the aim of bolstering local farm production and commercial activity.
The Minister said, “Food safety and sustainability are strategic priorities for the UAE. MoCCAE takes a multi-pronged approach to boosting local food production that involves promoting the use of state-of-the-art farming methods and driving private sector investments into sustainable agriculture.”
He added, “The Ministry seeks to encourage subsistence-level farmers to adopt commercial agriculture and embrace modern cultivation practices in order to increase their contributions to the local food supply. This is crucial for ensuring the long-term food security of our country.”
Dr Al Nuaimi noted that MoCCAE is currently developing a plan for enhancing the sales of local produce to motivate farmers to scale up their production. The plan includes creating effective sales and distribution channels, improving the competitiveness of homegrown products against imported ones, and promoting local produce to buyers.
He also pointed out that as part of its mandate to boost food safety and quality of produce grown in the UAE, the Ministry has joined forces with local government departments to monitor the sale and use of unlicenced pesticides that can significantly affect the safety of crops for consumption.
During his visit to Fujairah, Dr Al Nuaimi, along with MoCCAE officials and a group of young people, planted mangrove seedlings in Al Bidya as part of the Ministry’s initiative to plant 30,000 mangroves along the country’s coastal areas.
The Minister also toured the fishing port in Dadna to examine the services and facilities it offers to fishermen. In a meeting with local fishermen, he reiterated the Ministry’s keenness to help them overcome any obstacles that they may face in their profession, and explored diverse topics pertaining to developing fisheries and increasing their revenue.
Dr Al Nuaimi concluded his visit to the emirate by touring Dibba Bay Oysters, the Middle East’s first shellfish farm that produces 400,000 gourmet oysters a month for local consumption and export. The Minister met with the farm managers to discuss ways to expand this type of ventures in the UAE, and to inspire young people to embark on them.
Source: Emirates News Agency