Officials: Diversifying resources, boosting local production achieves Kuwait’s food security

In light of political crises and climate changes the world is witnessing, Kuwait, like any other regional country, faces serious challenges in achieving food security, especially with increase of demand, heavy dependence on imports, and scarcity of local food products, which makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in global prices.

This shows the need for Kuwait to adopt new strategies to confront food security challenges by diversifying food sources, promoting sustainable agriculture, improving management of water resources, and encouraging awareness of healthy nutrition methods by enhancing investments in the infrastructure of agriculture, food industry, and livestock sectors.

The concept of food security includes economic, social, cultural, environmental and political aspects, which calls for the need to move from the stage of adopting public policies to sustainable food systems aimed at ensuring the four elements of food security; availability, access, benefit and stability.

Meanwhile, the World Bank inclu
ded in a report published on January 29, 2024 on its official website, the food security issue among the eight critical challenges facing the world that must be addressed on a broad international scale.

The Kuwaiti Cabinet had decided in August 2022 to establish (the Supreme National Committee for Strengthening the Food and Water Security System), which include competencies from inside and outside the country as advisors to prepare and address technicalities and recommendations regarding food and water security.

In February 2023, the committee approved the broad outlines of the strategy for achieving food, water, and drug security in Kuwait, which included 21 basic pillars and 65 initiatives, with eight pillars and 28 security initiatives, in order to reach the strategic goal of strengthening the food security system.

In such international circumstances, there is an urgent need to adopt an integrated strategy for food security that includes dimensions such as strengthening the national food basket through
expanding regional and international agricultural investments and owning agricultural lands, livestock, and fisheries in countries with fertile regions.

In that context, the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development stated on its website that Kuwait fell 20 places back according to the food security index issued by the Economic Research Unit of the British Economist Group in 2022, where it was ranked 50th globally out of 113 countries, while it was ranked seventh in the Arab world and sixth in the GCC.

Kuwait was ranked 30th globally in 2021 and 33rd in 2020 on the Food Security Index, which measures the performance of 113 countries in providing the food needs of its population through four main factors; the ability to bear the costs and availability of food, the type and quality of food, natural resources, and resilience.

In its evaluation, the Food Security Index relies on giving countries a score out of 100, as it is calculated from the average of the four main factors that
make up the general index, by collecting and weighing the results of the 68 individual indicators distributed among the factors and measuring the extent of each country’s ability to provide the food needs of its population on a scale starting from zero to one hundred.

In this vein, Director General of the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources, Engineer Nasser Taqi, confirmed in a previous statement to KUNA after his meeting with the Director General of the Arab Center for Studies of Dry Zones and Dry Lands Dr. Nasraldin Al-Obaid, last January, that the Authority is ready to implement all the development plans that It serves Kuwait in a way that meets its priorities and goals and achieves food security and sustainable development goals.

When talking about food security in Kuwait, there is a major role played by governmental companies concerned with food, such as Al-Mawashi Company, Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakaries Company, and the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (KUCCS).

Accordi
ng to a report published by KUNA on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of establishing the company, Al-Mawashi owns the largest shaded farm in Kuwait, covering about four million square meters and accommodating 200,000 heads of livestock. It also has another shaded farm in the UAE with an area of 285,000 square meters and accommodating 100,000 livestock.

The company also has a farm in South Africa with a capacity of 70,000 livestock and another in Australia, with a capacity of 100,000 sheep, while the Australian government seeks to stop the export of live sheep across the sea. According to the Australian Agriculture Minister’s announcement regarding the decision to stop exports as of May 1, 2028, necessitates searching for other sources for exporting live sheep.

Al-Mawashi relies on several goals, including providing the finest types of meat to local and regional markets in innovative ways and at reasonable prices through an integrated and sustainable supply chain managed by the company.

On the other han
d, CEO of Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakaries Company, Mutlaq Al-Zayed, in a previous statement to KUNA, said that it bears the task of achieving food security in Kuwait, expressing readiness to meet the needs of consumers, provide sufficient stocks of all products in cooperative societies and central markets, and keep up with any updates according to an established emergency plan.

For his part, President of the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies, Musab Al-Mulla, told KUNA that the union has a pivotal role in achieving food security in Kuwait by maintaining the strategic stock of foodstuffs to ensure their continued availability to the consumer.

A study conducted by the Kuwait Society for Science, Technology and Innovation and published on its website, stated that challenges facing food security could be summarized in two main issues: sustainability of agricultural production to future generations, and maintaining the required quality of food while securing its availability in markets.

The study added tha
t there is a shortage of natural resources, increased consumption of energy and water, and a spike in fertilizers and fodder import, which requires management capable of exploiting energy without waste, with the need to find renewable sources of energy in various types of farms.

The study quoted a United Nations report on food waste saying, “An individual in Kuwait wastes 95 kilograms of food on average annually, while Kuwaiti families waste about 397 tons of food annually.” The study also recommended the availability of major food commodities of the appropriate quality from local production and develop a plan to ensure their availability under scenarios and possibilities of supply chain interruptions.

It stressed the need to improve the water management system to support the economy by expanding the use of treated wastewater in agriculture and focusing on manufacturing organic and chemical fertilizers in Kuwait as it is necessary to achieve food security.

Source: Kuwait News Agency

US Central Command announces the killing of a senior ISIS official in an air strike in Syria

The US Central Command announced that it killed ‘Osama Jamal Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Janabi,’ the senior official of ISIS, in an air strike it launched in Syria.

The leadership said in a statement on the ‘X’ platform: ‘The killing of Al-Janabi will lead to ‘disrupting ISIS’s ability to provide resources and carry out terrorist attacks.’

It added: ‘There is no indication that any civilians were injured in this strike.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

The occupation arrests citizens after storming Jenin


Jenin – Ma’an – On Thursday morning, the occupation forces stormed the city of Jenin and its camp and sent in military reinforcements from all entrances.

Special forces of the occupation army stormed the Al-Marah neighborhood in central Jenin, and clashes broke out.

The occupation army said that it arrested two wanted men in Jenin.

Source: Maan News Agency

King departs on private visit


Amman: His Majesty King Abdullah II departed on Thursday on a private visit.

His Royal Highness Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein was sworn in as Regent, in the presence of Cabinet members.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Abu Dhabi Heritage Authority showcases Emirati culture at Morocco’s Tan-Tan Moussem

ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi Heritage Authority, in collaboration with various heritage preservation institutions, is set to participate in the Tan-Tan Cultural Festival, taking place in the southern region of the Kingdom of Morocco from June 26 to 30.

Held under the patronage of HM King Mohammed VI of Morocco, this year’s edition is themed “20 Years of Conservation and Human Development.”

Abdulla Mubarak Al Muhairi, Acting Director General of the Abu Dhabi Heritage Authority, emphasised that the participation in the Tan-Tan Cultural Moussem, since 2014, aims to shed light on the rich and diverse Emirati heritage, and highlight the efforts of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in sustaining intangible heritage.

He stressed the importance of participating in such events in terms of introducing the Emirati heritage and traditions, promoting them in international forums, showcasing their rich components. Furthermore, Al Muhairi underscored that this participation aims to cultivate harmony among the values, customs, and tra
ditions, as well as the shared cultural heritage that unites the two fraternal nations. Such involvement stands as a testament to the deep and expanding relations between the UAE and Morocco, which extend far beyond cultural exchange.

Through the UAE Pavilion at the Moussem, the Abu Dhabi Heritage Authority will showcase a wide range of elements of UAE’s intangible heritage. Additionally, in cooperation with the Emirates Camel Racing Federation, the Authority will host several heritage competitions, including a camel race, a camel beauty pageant, and a camel milking competition.

The pavilion will feature a host of events and activities designed to educate the public about the living Emirati heritage. These include performances by folk arts troupes, live demonstrations of traditional handicrafts, Emirati cuisine, photo exhibitions, traditional games, and poetry soirees. Additionally, there will be concerts featuring several Emirati artists.

The Tan-Tan Moussem stands out as a lively celebration of Bedouin c
ulture in Morocco and North Africa. This distinguished festival brings together various forms of Bedouin traditions through a rich program of music, art, and cultural activities that blend the past and present while highlighting the desert heritage. It offers a unique opportunity to experience and celebrate the shared heritage of Arab cultures, all woven together by the distinctive threads of traditional Saharawi culture.

Source: Emirates News Agency

EU announces over pound 750 million to African Vaccines Manufacturing Accelerator

PARIS: The European Union and its Member States announced that they will contribute over pound 750 million (more than US$800 million), including close to pound 220 million (US$233 million) from the EU budget, to the African Vaccines Manufacturing Accelerator (AVMA) launched today in Paris.

Through this innovative instrument, developed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance together with Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), it will be possible to enhance the predictability of demand for vaccines made in Africa. Importantly, it will also support the sustainable growth of Africa’s manufacturing base and contribute to the African Union’s ambition to produce most vaccines required by African countries on the continent.

The EU and its Member States France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Luxembourg are together the largest contributor to the initiative. AVMA will further complement the existing Team Europe initiative on Manufacturing and Access to Vaccines, Medicines and Health Technologies in Afric
a (MAV+).

The African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator is expected to purchase more than 800 million doses produced in Africa over the next decade. It also has the potential to improve African pandemic and outbreak preparedness and response and support global health security. For these purposes, it will make more than pound 1 billion (US$1.1 billion) available to manufacturers as a way of offsetting high start-up costs and providing assurance of demand.

The initiative will diversify the set of global vaccine suppliers with a target of at least four African vaccine manufacturers entering the market in a sustainable way.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Muslim Council of Elders calls on addressing inhumane conditions suffered by millions of refugees

ABU DHABI: Under the chairmanship of His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the Muslim Council of Elders asserted that the inhumane conditions faced by millions of refugees and forcibly displaced persons, who have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety and a dignified life, pose a significant humanitarian crisis which necessitates unified global efforts to address and find effective solutions.

In a statement marking World Refugee Day, observed annually on 20th June, the Muslim Council of Elders emphasised that temporary solutions are insufficient to address the root causes of the refugee and forced migration crises, such as wars, armed conflicts, poverty, unemployment, and climate change.

The Council stressed that international cooperation and humanitarian solidarity are the only ways to achieve just and sustainable resolution to the refugee issue, ensuring their basic human rights.

The Muslim Council of Elders is actively working to raise awareness with regards to issues
related to refugee, advocating for their assistance in any way necessary.

The Document on Human Fraternity, which was co-signed by His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, alongside His Holiness Pope Francis of the Catholic Church, in Abu Dhabi in 2019, calls for the alleviation of the suffering of refugees, marginalised people, the poor, and the needy, and those who have lost their homes, without exclusion or discrimination. The document also describes this act as a religious and societal necessity that must be provided and protected through binding international legislation.

Source: Emirates News Agency

A citizen was killed in a traffic accident in Jenin


Jenin – Ma’an – A 30-year-old young man was killed late last night as a result of a traffic accident in Jenin.

Police media spokesman Colonel Louay Irziqat said that a report reached the police about a traffic accident between a vehicle and a bicycle east of the city of Jenin. The bike driver was taken to the hospital and doctors later announced his death.

Irziqat added that the police began an investigation to determine the circumstances of the accident, and the Public Prosecution was informed and the driver was taken into custody.

Source: Maan News Agency

The occupation storms the town of Surif and assaults citizens

Hebron – Ma’an – The occupation forces stormed the town of Surif, northwest of Hebron, at dawn today, raided several homes, beat a number of citizens, and confiscated some vehicles.

Local sources reported that the occupation forces stormed the town from several fronts, closed the town’s entrances with dirt barriers, and raided and searched many homes and destroyed their contents, including the homes of Dr. Ibrahim Al-Hur and Dr. Samir Al-Qadi.

The sources added that the occupation soldiers severely beat some citizens, including Zakaria Al-Hayeh,

and many illegal vehicles were confiscated.

Source: Maan News Agency