Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has organized a consultative workshop at Rocco Forte Hotel to discuss the draft agricultural policy for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with various stake holders.
The Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority HE Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Executive Directors of the Authority, other senior officials and representatives of various government departments participated in the discussion.
The objective of the workshop was to introduce the draft agricultural policy to ADFCA's partners in the federal and local governments. The policy, which is in line with the emirate's public policy agenda, was presented before the stake holders in order to seek their views and observations, which will add value to the policy as well as strengthen its implementation processes.
HE Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General of ADFCA, said in his inaugural address that the workshop represented a significant step in the Authority's efforts at preparing comprehensive policies for agriculture and food safety. "This is in continuation to similar efforts made in the preparation of the food safety policy, which was approved by the governing board. The food safety and agriculture policies together constitute the basic pillar on which the work of ADFCA is based. They are derived from and inspired by the public policy agenda for the Government of Abu Dhabi," he pointed out.
Al Shariqi added: "The principal governmental outcomes for the Authority's work , which include guaranteeing food safety and food supplies, in addition to sustainable development with environmental care for the agriculture sector, necessitate sound policies that guide our efforts toward securing food for the people and ensuring the health of humans, animals and plants. We promote good agricultural practices through implementation of quality standards, sound policies, research, studies and effective awareness initiatives."
HE drew attention to the expansion in the jurisdiction of the Authority to cover agriculture and animal wealth and said this made ADFCA shoulder the onus of achieving food safety across the food chain. "Achieving this goal requires policy guidelines that serve the Authority's plans for the future, especially the development and sustainability of the agriculture sector," he explained.
On her part, HE Dr. Mariam Hareb Al Yousuf, Executive Director of Policy and Regulation, ADFCA, presented the policy and explained the various phases of developing the policy document on food safety and agriculture, including the accomplishments in this regard so far.
Dr. Al Yousuf emphasized the importance of consultation with all the stake holders and said: "The content of the draft policy aims at covering all aspects in depth and detail in order to facilitate major changes in agriculture in both its plant and animal domains. It is important to ensure the protection of public health from all possible risks and the conservation of natural resources through judicious use of water and land. This policy document has been prepared on the basis of the best international practices and in tune with the local specificities."
"The policy touches upon all aspects of agriculture, including the use of land and water in agricultural production, options for agricultural production and economic sustainability, plant protection and animal health, prevention of diseases and pests, measures for emergency situations, protection of high value agricultural corps, research and development, animal care, agricultural competencies and efficiency, compatibility issues, violations, legislation and its execution and social support for farming," she explained.
The workshop stressed the importance of cooperation between the concerned entities in developing the Integrated Management System and implementing it in both agriculture and food safety in line with international obligations and the relevant agreements and covenants like WTO agreements.
The participants expressed their satisfaction with the policy document and said it would contribute to the development and sustainability of the agriculture sector.