AN INITIAL READING INTO THE UAE’S FOOD SECURITY RESPONSE DURING COVID-19
The following report is a desk study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security within the United Arab Emirates. It focuses on highlighting the status of food security, and its 4 pillars, within the UAE, before COVID-19. Furthermore, it talks about the impacts and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food security pillars of access, availability, utilization, and stability. The study has shown that despite local and international movement restrictions, major job losses, trade restrictions, and travel bans, that the UAE is still able to provide ample, nutritious food for its community to access.
Additionally, they have invested in local food security by way of new Agri-tech solutions such as smart greenhouses, AI-controlled food-growing environments, and vertical farming. Moreover, by increasing focus on local food and water production to further bolster their food sources and prepare them for any future food security related issues and challenges. This study also compares the UAE and its response to COVID-19 towards similar countries such as Singapore and other GCC countries.
The report concludes that increasing local food production, investment in the Agri-tech sector, increasing local food storage capacity, optimizing coastal and inland farming practices, diversification and strengthening of international partners, and acquisition of international agricultural land, will help the UAE bolster its strength, in terms of food security and stabilizing food resources, for the community in the future to come.