Securing Food Considering the Impacts of Global Warming
At a recent conference sponsored by the US government and the EU, Dr. Rasheed delivered a talk about food security in Saudi Arabia in relation to securing food considering the impacts of global warming, which is one of the daunting challenges facing the Middle East in general and Saudi Arabia in particular due to the scarcity of water, which results in food insecurity.
Food security is less about food and more about the threats of chronic hunger for individuals, governments, societies, and borders. Food security is the political aspect of Agricultural Development.
Dr. Rasheed explained that food security is less about food and more about the threats of chronic hunger for individuals, governments, societies, and borders. Food security is the political aspect of Agricultural Development. It is fundamental to Saudi Arabia’s national security, a strategic necessity, and to the rest of the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia, along with other Middle Eastern countries, has faced food security challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the challenges included a limited food supply chain due to restrictions caused by city lockdowns, panic buying, and restrictions on exports from countries like Romania (wheat) and Vietnam (rice).
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have reviewed their food security. Saudi Arabia had already addressed the challenges and made food security its strategic crisis management part of the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 goals and objectives. Vision 2030 focused on the safety and food security of the country’s citizens and residents, and aimed to boost local agricultural production and ensure greater self-efficiency in food items, harness the local agricultural technology sector and, more importantly, strengthen agricultural investment abroad.
In response to the impact of COVID-19, Saudi Arabia’s food security strategies have focused on encouraging local farmers to grow strategic crops, and adopt new technology and innovation to achieve sustainable agricultural development like vertical farming, which can make farm produce more accessible to cities.
Dr. Rasheed ended his talk by stating that, going forward, achieving food security requires policy reforms and investment reforms on multiple levels. Food security is vital for Saudi Arabia’s sustainable economy, and sustainable agricultural development is one of the best tools to enhance food security, alleviate poverty, and promote economic growth.
This talk on food security included distinguished panelists from the Middle East discussing various strategies in achieving food security. The Q&A discussion highlighted the importance of securing food in mitigating the impacts of global warming.