UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has set out plans to bolster the quality and safety of local produce to support Abu Dhabi’s food security goals.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, in his role as Chairman of ADAFSA, outlined protocols aimed at improving the efficiency of farms, raising community confidence and boosting self-sufficiency in the food sector.
He issued a directive on biosecurity requirements for farms and livestock holdings in the capital to contribute to sustainable agriculture and maximize the output of farms.
The strategy will focus on pest control and eliminating disease from produce, state news agency Wam reported.
Sheikh Mansour said the move would help to safeguard humans, animals and plants from diseases and prevent outbreaks of pests and epidemics.
He underscored the importance of following good practice and precautionary measures to enhance biosecurity in the agriculture sector.
Saeed Al Ameri, ADAFSA’s Director-General, said the policy had been established to help guard against the outbreak of pests and diseases.
“The new decision comes within the legislative framework regulating the agricultural sector in Abu Dhabi. This aims to develop a sustainable agricultural sector, promote the emirate’s biosecurity system, and protect farms and livestock holdings (izba) from the outbreak of pests and diseases,” he said.
Mr. Al Ameri said the authority will identify best global practice to prevent the community from the threat of zoonotic diseases, which are transmitted from animals to humans.
He said farm owners would have a key role to play in implementing biosecurity requirements.
Sheikh Mansour has also launched mobile services for animal and plant health in remote areas of the country; the latest initiative in accelerating growth in agriculture and providing assistance to farmers.
The initiative will further the strategy of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to protect livestock and provide prompt service to farmers in remote areas.
The mobile vans are equipped with medicines, first aid, and vaccines for animals and will further the strategy of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to protect livestock and provide prompt service to farmers in remote areas.
At the start of the month, the Abu Dhabi government introduced a plan to develop plant varieties and animal breeds that are better suited to the UAE’s environmental conditions, through the Abu Dhabi Agricultural Genome Programme.
It will involve scientific research centres carrying out work to create the new varieties and breeds.
A database of genetic resources and a store of actual material will be set up. Elsewhere, this approach has often resulted in the creation of seed banks, reports The National.
The initiative is part of ADAFSA’s 2022 to 2025 strategic plan to enhance food security.