Jun. 18, 2015


HE Dr. Rashid Mohammed Khalfan Al Shariqi

UAE, Abu Dhabi

HE Dr. Rashid Mohammed Khalfan Al Shariqi

Director General, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA)

HE Dr. Rashid Mohammed Khalfan Al Shariqi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), on the Emirate's commitment to viable food security strategies, finding technological solutions for climatic impediment to agriculture, and creating a food storage hub for the region.

BIO

HE Rashid Mohammed Khalfan Al Shariqi received an MSc degree in Environmental Science in 1997 (with honors) from the UAE University, and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science (with honors) in 1984 from the College of Agricultural Sciences, UAE University. He is currently the Director General of ADFCA, and has also served as a Federal National Council member since 2007. Throughout his career, he has run the Prevention and Agricultural Guidance Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, served as director of Research and Agricultural Production Department, before rising to Under Secretary at the Ministry.

On behalf of the ADFCA, I commend the efforts made to highlight important innovations, solutions, and creative ideas within the agricultural sector. The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Chairman of the Executive Council, inspire us with their sustained efforts in achieving food security. I would like to express gratitude to our leaders for leading by example. On his part, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, leaves no stone unturned in spearheading measures that translate our leadership's vision of achieving food security. The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) 2015 hosted in Abu Dhabi is one such initiative that has proved highly successful in its capacity to generate tangible outcomes.

Several years ago, the world food crisis resulted in increasing food costs to alarming levels. The growth in population and the lack of natural resources impelled countries to take action towards achieving food security. For us in the Arab world, the food crisis represents the biggest challenge. The population of the Arab world by the year 2030 is expected to double, reaching up to 480 million people. This triggers serious concern and calls for action in the region to ensure availability of safe and nutritious food to meet the needs of an increased population.

In the UAE, and Abu Dhabi in particular, we hold the belief that there is no security, no stability or progress, and no future without healthy people. The vision of our leaders on the issue of food focuses on the greater happiness of all humanity. Our leaders are keen to provide the necessary facilities to ensure that citizens and residents of the UAE have high quality foods based on the safety standards issued.

The Food Security Center Abu Dhabi was established in order to secure food supplies for citizens and residents. The center operates on a strategy aimed at maximizing the production of locally cultivated foods through the use of modern technology, the management of natural resources efficiently, and the promotion of agricultural investment abroad. The center also aims to benefit from the country's position as one of the most developed and prosperous markets in the region. We recognize that international trade traffic growth across the UAE contributes significantly to the convenient accessibility of secure food supplies. We are working on multiple axes to support the entire food security gamut. We are focused on creating non-traditional solutions through strategic inventory management. We are also focused on leveraging modern technology towards the formulation of food policies.

The Fujairah Strategic Storage Project is a great example. The project allowed the storage of grain in the most important strategic location of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. We are able to benefit from all the initiatives and food security support projects and the infrastructure services from the government such as the mega-storage warehouses in the Khalifa Industrial City (Kizad), which includes a storage area of more than 220,000 square meters.

I am confident that collectively, we can work towards achieving regional and global food security for generations to come.