Date: 18 Sep, 2023
Location: Dubai - UAE
The Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development has consistently taken part in agricultural and investment events held in order to support and enhance the progress of food security, during which pioneers in the agricultural sector with its various fields and specializations meet, in addition to interested businessmen, companies, investors, business owners, farmers and producers from all over the world in order to exchange expertise, organize panel sessions, and showcase products and innovations in the agricultural sector.
In this view, H.E. Mr. Mohammed bin Obaid Al Mazrooei, President of AAAID, participated as a keynote speaker during the inaugural session of the 4th edition of the Global Vertical Farming Show 2023, that was held during 13 – 14 September, 2023, in which he delivered a presentation titled “AAAID’s initiative to cover the deficit in basic food commodities in the Arab countries” on Wednesday, 13 September, 2023.
During the session, H.E. AAAID’s President gave a brief introduction about AAAID, including its vision, objectives, strategy, sectoral distribution of its contributions and investments, as well as its role in contributing to supporting the small-scale farmers and producers segment and enhancing food security. He also explained that the deficit in food commodities in the Arab countries, such as grains, sugar, dairy, vegetable oils, meat, and beans, is considered one of the main challenges in Arab countries, and that the average value of the food deficit amounts to USD 42 billion, indicating that it is expected in the future that the size of the food deficit in the Arab countries will continue to worsen.
H.E. the President elaborated that this is a result of population growth and high prices, as well as negative impacts on the growth of agricultural production, such as climate change, drought, desertification, epidemics and diseases, in addition to the lack of investments directed to the sector, weak infrastructure in some countries, and the lack of Arab agricultural integration according to comparative advantage; adding that the continuation of the food deficit in Arab countries necessitates to develop integrated programs, plans and strategies that enable countries to cover the deficit.
Last but not least, His Excellency presented a proposed mechanism for implementing AAAID’s initiative to cover the deficit in food commodities, which consists of introducing the AAAID’s initiative, allocating land areas, organizing meetings with investors from the private sector, signing framework agreements between potential investors, and forming task forces for each proposed project in each country to prepare feasibility studies, in addition to organizing workshops on the financing needed for projects and establishing companies, as well as initiating the implementation of projects.