ABU DHABI THE STAGE FOR GROWING MOVES TO TACKLE GLOBAL FOOD CHALLENGE
Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture highlights UAE commitment to drive global dialogue on food security, climate resilience
Abu Dhabi, 9 December 2015: Abu Dhabi is set to play a growing role in harnessing global efforts to provide enough safe, nutritious food to an expanding population, one of the biggest challenges facing the world today.
Ali Yousef Al Saad of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority: “The events underline UAE commitment to drive a global dialogue on food security and climate resilience”
The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), an established annual event in the UAE capital, has been given an extra dimension that will reinforce endeavours in the Emirates to inspire moves towards the elimination of hunger and poverty.
When GFIA is held for a third year next February, it will run alongside VIV MEA, a new regional version of the highly successful livestock production events held in Europe and Asia which are helping to bring about a rethinking on global food security.
The move guarantees the presence of an additional 3,000 food producers with specific interests in poultry production at an event attracting global thought leaders and entrepreneurs to showcase the latest innovations to achieve food security.
“The co-hosting of these important international events in Abu Dhabi underlines the commitment of the UAE to drive a global dialogue on food security and climate resilience,” said Ali Yousef Al Saad, Acting Director of Communication and Community Service at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.
“We live in a water-constrained region and must use these forums to enhance our contribution to the development and implementation of smart solutions for increased food production.”
Added Al Saad: “GFIA is quite unique in that it attracts stakeholders right across the agricultural value chain. This means Abu Dhabi becomes the stage for the whole mix of people needed to change systems at large – scientists, inventors, farmers, investors, food producers, NGOs, supply chain and government. This makes it such an important event.”
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and in strategic partnership with ADFCA, the exhibition and conference at GFIA will feature more than 300 next-generation agricultural solutions that could shape the future of sustainable farming around the world.
Taking place in tandem with VIV MEA at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 16-18 February 2016, GFIA is seen as an increasingly important event by experts who emphasise that, while food and agricultural sectors are central to eradicating hunger and poverty, current farming practices and climate change are putting pressure on our natural resources.
“No organisation alone has the ability to solve these challenges, but cooperation across business, politics, academia and civil society is critical to changing systems at scale,” said Mark Beaumont, Project Director of the combined GFIA exhibition and conference.
“The key is to bring together public decision-makers, private sector champions and civil society leaders who develop and catalyze innovations for sustainable agriculture. Through cross-sector collaboration, we can bring about a food-secure future, and the prominent role the UAE has taken on this issue makes Abu Dhabi a perfect stage.”
Added Beaumont: “We’re very excited to be joining forces with VIV MEA and the timing is perfect. Growing urbanisation, rapid growth in the tourism sector and increasingly globalised diets are seeing a significant increase in the demand for livestock products in this region. The UAE and other Middle East countries want to produce food and not just import it, so investments in the food production sector are increasing all the time.”
Together, GFIA and VIV MEA are expected to host more than 500 exhibitors of innovative technology, making Abu Dhabi home to the largest agricultural event in the region. The organisers also expect to build upon last year’s 4,550 visitors from 85 countries.
Among an influential panel of conference speakers will be Marc van Ameringen, Executive Director of the Geneva-based Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, H.E. Ambassador Shahira Wahbi, Chief of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation of the League of Arab States, Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive of Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, Ireland, and Abdullah Alrubaian, Chairman of leading Saudi food security company ARASCO Co.
An online exhibitor marketplace will allow exhibitors to showcase products to visitors exactly what products they can buy.
GFIA is supported by ADFCA, Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Clinton Climate Initiative, The World Bank, Wageningen UR, CGIAR, SAI Platform, Cool Farm, CTA and Arizona as well as Emirates Food Industries, Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Center, Food Security Center – Abu Dhabi, and Masdar Institute.