UAE minister visits Togo Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

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Sarah Al Amiri is being briefed during her visit to Togo pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, visited the pavilion of Togo at Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. She explored investment opportunities and technological advancement, especially in tourism, business, sustainable development, and logistical services, as well as digitalization efforts.

She was briefed on the opportunities offered to startups and entrepreneurs, especially those in the industrial sector. She toured Togo’s pavilion, themed “Welcome to Togo”, which showcases the various investment opportunities it offers. Togo also manages West Africa’s leading port.

She was also briefed on the government’s 2020-2025 development roadmap, which aims to create social harmony and inclusion and creating job opportunities through 42 initiatives, 75% of which have a digital component.

Peru: The global clean and healthy eating movement is seeing renewed interest in Peruvian food products for the quality of their produce and superior nutritional value. It is no surprise then that the Peruvian commercial pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai will promote the mighty superfoods within it’s Trade Mission of 2022.

“Super Foods Peru” is a very well-known brand in the main gourmet markets around the world. A superfood is a food product packed with plenty of healthy nutrients. Peru is home to many products that fall under this category. Superfoods at their simplest may be defined as nutritionally dense foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants and are considered to be good for health and well-being. A regular consumption of these products of superior quality has many benefits, including aiding in increasing energy and vitality, regulating cholesterol and blood pressure and helping to fight and prevent diseases.

Thousands of years ago, the fusion of the soil and Andean wisdom created a special harvest in Peru. Its products born of biodiversity and exceptional ancient innovation, are part of what is today known as the superfood family: natural, healthy and nutritious.

Due to its microclimates and diverse topography, Peru is home to thousands of foods found nowhere else on the planet, many of which are staggering in their content of potent nutrients. These superfoods are known for healing properties in their native Andes and Amazonian regions, and there are numerous superfoods hailing from Peru that have aided in substance and nourishment.

Peru is home of grains such as quinoa, amaranth, canihua; nuts like sacha inchi and Amazonian nuts; and, fruits like camu camu, avocados, grapes and lucuma, all included on the category of Super Foods Peru.

Quinoa is an Andean plant which originated in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru, which is a gluten-free grain and a source of a high level of protein and essential amino acids. Peru is home of 3000 varieties of it.

The qualities of the Peruvian Super Foods are intimately linked to the country’s privileged ecological diversity and its millenary history. This is the base of our award-winning gastronomy with native, European, Asian and African influences, a true melting pot of cultures resulting in exquisite and unforgettable flavours and aromas.

Meanwhile, Engro Fertilizers, a subsidiary of Pakistan’s leading conglomerate, the Engro Corporation, hosted an insightful panel discussion on regional food security and agricultural partnership opportunities with Pakistan at the Dubai Expo 2020.

The panel highlighted the leading and visionary role of Gulf states, particularly the UAE, to secure the entire region’s food security.  Food insecurity in the MENA is a growing challenge as in 2020, MENA’s share of the world’s acutely food insecure people was 20%, disproportionately high compared to its 6% share of the population.

The situation is worse where there is conflict, such as in Yemen and Syria. Iraq has also seen a rise in food insecurity, caused by intermittent conflict and fluctuating global oil prices.

Climate change was highlighted as the biggest and foremost challenge affecting local agriculture, with half of the MENA population already living under water-stressed conditions. Meanwhile, agriculture productivity rates are not keeping up with population increase, except for Egypt, where productivity gains are above the world average.

Further, the region is exceptionally dependent on food imports, especially of wheat and other staple grains. Half of MENA’s food is imported, rising to 90% in Gulf Cooperation Countries.

Experts noted that by forging partnerships in the agricultural sector with resource-rich countries, like Pakistan, the region can benefit from enhanced agricultural output to overcome its food security challenge. With a greater focus on modern agricultural research and technology, seed quality, balanced use of fertilizers, and uplift of infrastructure across the agri-value chain, Pakistan can enhance production to meet its own domestic and the Gulf-region needs.

According to Nadir Qureshi, CEO of Engro Fertilizers, “We have a vision and belief that developing Pakistan’s agriculture value chain could resolve not only Pakistan’s, but also the GCC regions food security needs. We hope that this dialogue will serve as an initial step to encourage Pakistan, Engro and Gulf entities to work together to jointly develop innovative solutions and explore the scope for international partnerships in agri-space. We look forward to playing our part to deepening the connect between the two regions to help solve one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

Other solutions offered to improve food security in MENA region include boosting the efficiency of importing food and storage, investing in cutting-edge practices and technologies, and developing novel financial models to leverage private investment in agriculture.

The panel concluded that with the right leadership and vision, the MENA can overcome its precarious food security situation. The panel was hopeful that the Gulf leadership would pave the way through innovative solutions.

The esteemed panel comprised global agricultural and industry experts including Dr. Abdul Rashid (IFA Laureate), Charles Schneider (International Finance Corporation), Ayman Alwadhy (The Corporate Group, UAE), Wasim Halabi (Foodco National Foodstuff Co PJSC), Fredric Favre (MAS Seeds, France), Khusrau Nadir Gilani (Engro Fertilizers) and Dr. Munir Jamil Al Rusan (Professor and Dean at Jordan University of Science and Technology).

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