UAE and Israel sign agreement to cooperate in agriculture field
The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Israel to cooperate in the field of agriculture.
Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Oded Forer, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Israel, signed the agreement at MoCCAE’s headquarters in Dubai.
Under the terms of the five-year MoU, the ministries have agreed to collaborate on developing and sharing knowledge, best practices, and technology to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural produce and enhance the sustainability of crop and livestock production. They also aim to boost bilateral trade in agricultural and animal products in accordance and align their animal health and food safety procedures.
In addition, they will work towards mutual recognition of the UAE’s and Israel’s organic farming standards, boost technical cooperation, particularly in innovative applied R&D in agriculture and beekeeping, and conduct joint training sessions for agriculture and food safety experts and researchers.
Mariam Almheiri said, “Due to their arid desert environment, the UAE and Israel face similar challenges in developing sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural sectors and strengthening food security. Our new partnership aims to initiate a dynamic exchange of experience and expertise in these areas to help us achieve our common goals. Israel is a leader in technology innovation, and we especially look forward to a productive cooperation in technology transfer.”
For his part, Oded Forer said, “Israeli agriculture has always been groundbreaking and innovative throughout the years. This new collaboration between our two countries in the field of agriculture will lead to better and faster solutions for some of our common challenges in the region, such as food security and climate change. We look forward to a fruitful partnership and developing new capabilities together.”
The two parties will establish a joint committee that will meet regularly to review the progress of the collaboration, set priorities, and develop action plans for targeted projects. To support the objectives of the MoU, the ministries will engage relevant partners, including government entities, private sector companies, and research institutions.
The Israel Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai held a multitude of events during the food, agriculture and livelihoods week last month that started on Feb.17 and ran until Feb.23, 2022. The focus of the week was to provide a forum for knowledge sharing so that both Israel and the UAE could benefit from increased cooperation in their agricultural sectors, in light of the looming threat of climate change.
The events were organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF). The events discussed many topics and featured notable speakers like Prof Dan Shechtman, Distinguished Professor Emeritus & Nobel Laureate, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Michal Levy, Chief Scientist, Ministry of Agriculture. Panels included Israeli and Emirati women leaders in agricultural technology, startup accelerators, and displays of technological developments.
Karine Bolton, Head of International Relations and External Affairs at KKL JNF said: “KKL-JNF is bringing together the best and most creative minds in desert R&D not only to share knowledge, but hopefully to create models of innovation that can be adapted to any arid climate.”
Sharon Cherry the owner of Cherry Farm was among the participants at the Ministry of Agriculture event and he explained the hardship and challenges he faced growing crops in the desert. “Cherry Farm specialises in growing vegetables, fruits and super foods in the heart of the Negev desert. The farm was established in 2014 with unique crops like bitter gourd, and turmeric, which were not known at all in Israel at the time, and today is the largest farm in the field with over 16 different crops and an independent marketing line. The farm provides a 12-month