'Food security now most important international issue'
Dubai: Food security is the most important issue as no city or country in the world is completely food secure in view of climate change, population growth, increased urbanisation, changing dietary patterns and decreased arable land, according to a report released here.
According to the Oliver Wyman report titled 'Sustainable and Resilient Foods for Future Generation' launched at the World Government summit here all these factors play a significant role in disrupting the food supply chain and availability.
The report offers governments around the world the framework to assess the state of their food security and the tools to strengthen it both from regulatory and technological standpoints.
The report emphasised that there is no "one size fits all" solution, but highlighted lessons learnt and identified best practices that can be implemented to avert a food crisis.
Although efforts have been made, nothing can be done without increased investment in the agriculture sector and enabling technology transfer towards places with agricultural potential that lack the means to develop it.
Food security must be developed in all aspects if it is to exist at all, with countries and cities following a holistic approach when considering their food systems from farm-to-fork' and the interconnection of their national systems to the world.
"Our findings suggest that no city or country in the world is completely food secure. All cities from New York to Dubai face their own variant of food challenges and must develop their own way to address them. There is no unique solution to this challenge, but our food system model must be redefined from production to consumption factoring in issues of waste and loss, said Mathieu De Clercq, Partner, Public Sector, Oliver Wyman.
"To build a resilient agriculture and food system, cities must undertake an audit centralised around the five dimensions of food security- availability, physical access, economic access, utilisation and their stability over time. We have examined five cities: New York, Singapore, Riyadh, Dubai and Havana to assess how secure they are along these five dimensions," he added.
The report puts forward a series of regulatory initiatives combined to technological recommendations to address weak links and comprehensively ensure that their population's most basic needs are fully met, now and for the future generation.
With the technological revolution now rife across the globe, cities especially in the Gulf region have the financial means are encouraged to invest in technologies such as vertical farming or greenhouses to increase output.
Food security is also ensured through investments in climate smart technologies and infrastructures.
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