The UAE Office for Future Food Security held a workshop with representatives from fish farms and stakeholders from the public and private sectors, to explore the challenges in aquaculture.
Organised in collaboration with the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) team, and in preparation for the National Strategy for Future Food Security, which is set to be announced in September 2018. The workshop discussed methods to improve the production and supply chain, and develop relevant legislation for the requirements of the market, the stakeholders, and fish farmers.
HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, minister of state for future food security, said: “The UAE Government has a clear plan to ensure future food security, which includes, most notably, supporting local agricultural production and developing it to meet international standards. This, in turn, establishes the UAE as a key player in the food sector, a strategic goal for the local economy.
“We have a great opportunity to create added value by tapping into the competitive advantages of the aquaculture sector, forecasting the future of this industry, capitalising on its strengths and overcoming the challenges that face it,” H.E. explained.
Participants at the workshop explored potential practices to increase production to meet the needs of the market, bridging the gap between production and consumption. They discussed mechanisms to enhance the competitiveness of products in terms of prices, improve product specifications, and strengthen governance and control procedures for fish products in the market, in addition to drafting guides that cover all requirements, specifications and standards in accordance with international best practices.
The discussion focused on the necessary mechanisms and legislation to facilitate the cultivation and breeding of fish in farms, which include standardising procedures for permits, certificates and licenses for the establishment of aquafarms at the federal and local levels, creating a single permit that allows farmers to establish their farms, as well as to import and export products. These permits can be issued independently, which encourages domestic and foreign investment in these facilities.
The workshop also looked into ways to improve marketing of fish products, and spread awareness about the high quality of the UAE’s agricultural output. This serves to increase demand and subsequently, boost production, leading to the establishment of more farms to cultivate the likes of fish, oysters, and shrimp, among others.