Dubai: The UAE minister for food and agriculture, Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, on Friday said the Gulf Arab desert state is committed to support joint Arab efforts to set up a strategic food reserve in response to the world food crisis, WAM news agency reported.
Bin Fahad also emphasised the need to establish and implement Arab-wide mechanisms to achieve a level of agricultural integration necessary to maintain the required stockpile of food, Xinhua reported.
The Gulf Arab states, all of them major oil suppliers, have to import 90 percent of their food needs, according to Alpen Capital.
Bin Fahad said in an released statement on the occasion of the Arab Agricultural Day to be observed Saturday, Sep 27, under the theme "Strategic Arab Food reserve to Face World Food Crisis", the current global shortage of food crises resulting from either natural factors such as desertification, drought, low rainfall or human elements such as turmoil and growing populations, "require strategic food stocking strategies from the Arab community".
The minister urged countries within the region to intensify efforts to achieve this goal and reduce their dependence on imported foods in order to close the food gap which reached around 35 billion dollars in 2012.