EU Ambassador to the UAE, H.E. Patrizio Fondi, gave a presentation to young leaders on EU policy that promotes research and innovation in argiculture and food security. He highlighted the importance of a sustainable and innovative agriculture sector in preserving long-term capacity to meet the needs of future generations, in terms of ecosystem services and food and nutrition security.
The panel speakers agreed that a radical change towards our production, consumption, processing, storage, recycling and waste disposal was needed. H.E the Minister of Food Security to the UAE stated that youth participation is vital to advance a sustainable national food security. H.E. Fondi congratulated the UAE on making food security a priority and praised Her Excellency the Minister of Future Food Security for her focus on Youth. ‘‘Indeed, it is the young leaders who will drive these changes, both as consumers and as innovators’’, stated the EU ambassador.
The EU and UAE are already mature trade partners in food and agricultural sectors. The EU supplies agricultural products to the UAE worth almost 3 billion EUR a year. The amount supplied has almost doubled in the last 5 years. Ensuring this trade flow can continue unhindered and can be further strengthened is already one aspect of food security.
The EU is boosting innovations in Europe through demand-drive research through programmes such as Horizon 2020. As the largest EU programme on research and innovation ever implemented (80 billion EUR for 2014-2020), it puts emphasis on interaction between science and practice through, among others, ‘multi-actor projects’, involving not only researchers but also other players such as industry and farmers. Horizon 2020 dedicates 3.8 million EUR specifically on food security.
‘Food security is intrinsically linked with other global challenges like development and climate chance. Let us work together on these challenges and achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda ’, said the EU Ambassador.