Category: Agriculture

The Reshaping of Sustainable Farming


   When sustainable farming gets a makeover, it can have a positive impact on socio-economic development as well. The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture – that next year will take place in Abu Dhabi in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority – is slated to find agricultural solutions in an attempt to shape the future of worldwide sustainable farming. Featuring over 400 presentations, this meet-up will be attended by a variety of experts in the agricultural industry.

Some of the issues facing international policymakers include how to feed a population that is set to become over nine billion by the year 2050. The forum will be addressing these issues.

As Chairman of the Food Authority Organizing Committee, Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi pointed out:

“As the world looks to support sustainable economic and social development into the 21st century and beyond, the solutions we identify to our food and water security challenges today will define the future of our nations… Abu Dhabi is strongly committed to driving the global dialogue on food security and climate resilience and this event reinforces that commitment.”

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When Rice Becomes Too Expensive…

As if the Middle East didn’t have enough to deal with already – rising food prices are now threatening to cripple many already strapped people. QNB Capital reported that the rising food prices in the area are a result of many factors including rising income levels in countries like China, unseasonal weather and fule price spikes.

Rising Prices

Food prices rose a record amount in 2010, with a 25% increase. As reported by QNB Capital, the index of global food prices maintained by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization rose by 25% in 2010, surpassing previous records set in June of 2008. This number has increased even further in 2011, increasing by another 9.9% so far this year.

Hitting the Poor

The World Bank reports that these figures are hitting the poorest in society the hardest and bringing the world, as they report, near a “breaking point.” The World Bank’s food price index is at record levels as well, having increased 15% between October 2010 and January 2011. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has also projected a 19% rise in food prices for this year.

Food Price Impact

The impact that these food price increases have on the area depends on the share of household food expenditures in each location. For instance, in Egypt, food represents 39,9% of the Consumer Price Index compared to Qatar where it’s only 13.2%. In addition, the current food price increases are mostly for basic foods, rather than for more expensive or processed food items. This impacts poor populations more than it does the wealthy, since poorer people tend to buy more basic foods such as rice.

As QNB Capital reported, “As the Middle East relies mainly on food imports, the region is particularly vulnerable to food security concerns. If this trend of rising food prices continues, Arab countries will likely be forced to increase their strategic food reserves and develop technologies to boost domestic production to meet growing food demand.”

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Minister of Agriculture: Revoke the Licenses of Some Poultry Farms

Dr. Fahad BilghoneimDr. Fahad Bilghoneim Minister of Agriculture made an imminent issuance of decisions on the cancellation of licenses to some poultry farms, due to repeated violations of health and regulatory rules repeated again and again from those companies. The withdrawal of these licenses and the closure of the farms are in order to preserve the public interest.

This was revealed according to the newspaper “Today” Saudi Arabia in the open meeting held by the East Room with the minister, businessmen and those concerned with agriculture and related sectors in the ministry.

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