The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has spent 1753 hours on various awareness-related activities in 2020. Through a total number of 439 events and activities covered topics of food safety, livestock and the sustainable agriculture in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, In addition to topics related to organizational efficiency, development, policies and regulations for the ADAFSA's role and responsibility.
The awareness activities and events implemented targeted thousands of farm owners, food establishments, food handlers, school and university students, in addition to the ADAFSA's staff through internal awareness events and campaigns, as part of the authority's commitment to spreading community awareness of the requirements of agricultural sustainability, food and biological security, and ensuring plant and animal health. Enhancing organizational efficiency and building the capabilities of employees and customers.
In view of the exceptional circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the awareness activities focused on virtual awareness workshops through visual communication technology "Zoom" and "Microsoft Teams", as they were relied upon to educate customers and build the capacities of farmers and educators on best practices in agriculture and livestock development.
Awareness programs directed to the agricultural activities, both plant and animal, accounted for about 55 per cent of the total hours of awareness, as the number of educational hours completed in the field of agriculture and livestock reached about 965 hours, which were implemented through 185 activities, while awareness programs in the field of food safety acquired about 202 educational hours, representing 11.5 per cent of the total awareness hours, and through 45 various activities, In addition to the activities of the organizational events related to the ADAFSA's role and responsibility, which had 138 events, that reached about 352 hours, representing about 20 per cent of the total awareness hours during the year.
In this regard, Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Director of Communication and Community Service Division, said that 2020 was an exceptional year by all standards due to the conditions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that ADAFSA was responsible towards all customers and the target audience, as it was able to implement the planned awareness programs through various means, including virtual awareness workshops, which were widely accepted and were attended by a remarkable presence of the farms owners and food establishments in various regions of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in addition to students of schools and universities.
Committed to our awareness role and its integration with the supervisory and regulatory role to achieve agricultural sustainability, food safety, and food and biosecurity, we worked to devise new ways to meet the challenges of "Covid-19" and direct the lectures to the largest number of the target audience, as many lectures and awareness workshops were organized through visual communication techniques. " Zoom and Microsoft Teams, recording these lectures and re-sending them to the target audience, which contributed to achieving the desired goals of the awareness plan further he added
He also explained that ADAFSA dealt with the pandemic exceptionally, as it was used as an opportunity to develop new awareness-raising programs to contain its effects on the food, agriculture and livestock sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as the authority was one of the first institutions that took many precautionary measures in cooperation with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Authority to enhance safety measures Food and ensuring the safety of food, consumers, traders and producers, and many awareness programs have been implemented to urge partners and community members to adhere to applying these precautionary measures and to prevent the spread of the virus through the food chain from farm to consumer.
Dr. Al Hammadi indicated that the awareness activities and events aimed at enhancing societal knowledge and educating stakeholders about the tasks, duties and developments of ADAFSA's role and responsibility indicating that last year witnessed the issuance of eight new legislative regulations and guidelines for organizing and developing the agricultural, livestock and food sector, and several awareness programs were done to familiarize stakeholders with these regulations and the requirements of its application in their facilities