ABU DHABI, -- The UAE government has placed a high priority on promoting the food production industry in hopes of finding new ways to increase its contribution to the national economy's food security and diversification, said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, while launching the new initiative of Lulu hypermarkets to support locally grown organic farm produce through their stores across the UAE.

The initiative was inaugurated at Lulu Hypermarket in Mushrif Mall, Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Yusuff Ali Musliam, Chairman of Lulu Group and other top officials.

During the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi extended his appreciation to the Lulu Group for supporting this initiative and for their close co-operation with the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs, which will also promote local organic farm products. He indicated that there is a high demand for organic products made in UAE, which will benefit the farmers' community.

It will also promote sustainable economic and social development in the country as part of the 'Green Economy for Sustainable Development' initiative launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

"We focus on the adoption of appropriate and viable agricultural patterns of climate-smart agriculture, such as hydroponics, organic and protected agriculture. We also concentrate on employing modern techniques, systems, innovative solutions and best practices to cope with the pressures and challenges faced by the sector, in addition to strengthening the partnership initiatives between the public and private sectors," Dr. Al-Zeyoudi explained.

Yusuff Ali said, "We have always done our best to support many socially relevant community activities and are proud to associate with Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Zayed Higher Organisation for promoting organic produce from the UAE.

"Through this arrangement, not only we will be promoting the local agricultural sector and supporting the special needs community but also cut down carbon emission due to the reduction in transportation of locally grown vegetables," he added.

These initiatives contribute effectively to supporting the marketing of national agricultural products. For example, the volume of national organic products sales, through only two partners, increased to AED20 million by the end of 2016. By the end of 2016, the number of organic farms increased to include 80 produce farms, seven animal production farms and five organic manufacturing plants within an area of 45,890 acres.

Source: Emirates News Agency