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Plan to develop national agricultural system
KUWAIT CITY, May 28: The government agencies are involved in the battle to make Kuwait secure in the area of food sufficiency, hoping to make tangible progress in this thorny file as soon as possible, reports Al-Qabas daily. The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) put forward a strategic plan for food security until 2035 that aims to develop the national agricultural system, to achieve sustainable agricultural development and enable the effective production of commodities in the national food basket.
The plan, which was referred to the National Assembly, of which Al-Qabas has obtained a copy of, set 4 main objectives, namely increasing agricultural production in quantity and quality, enabling national production to replace agricultural imports, and creating an investment climate in the agricultural sector.
The plan called for the establishment of a Supreme Council for Food Security, the development and modernization of available options to strengthen it, and the establishment of gigantic agricultural projects to enhance strategic stocks, provide large financial funds for its management and localizing industrial activities related to agricultural production. The plan expected an increase in the rates of self-sufficiency of vegetable products at varying rates that may reach about 75% or 100% of some veg etables, and the increase in the percentage of the total vegetables in general will not be less than about 75% of self-sufficiency by 2030.
The plan indicated that there are obstacles that do not help to achieve self-sufficiency in some crops that require a special quality of soil and a lot of water. In the details of the plan, the authority stated the following: Increasing agricultural production in quantity and quality so that it can respond to the requirements of food consumption, especially that the latter is steadily increasing due to the increase in the population and the rise in income rates; improving the performance and effectiveness of the agricultural sector and raising agricultural productivity through optimal utilization of productive resources and the increased introduction of various agricultural innovations, in order to enhance the competitiveness of Kuwaiti agriculture and creating an investment climate in the agricultural sector and working to raise the return on investment in agricultural projects to keep pace with commercial and industrial activities.
This is in addition to developing the agricultural foreign trade and enhancing marketing capabilities in the field of agricultural goods and services; establishing a Higher Council for Food Security to develop an integrated strategy for food security through coordination between the authorities concerned with the issue of food security provided that this strategy includes several alternatives and alternative plans that respond to various circumstances and possibilities to ensure the achievement of food security.
The concerned authorities must also develop and update the available options to enhance food security and work to increase the volume of production, enhance the productivity of agricultural crops and vegetables, improve water use efficiency, reduce postharvest losses, and enhance the use of treated wastewater in irrigation, in order to ensure an increase in local production of agricultural production and improve self-sufficiency levels of crops and agricultural products and establish gigantic and specialized agricultural projects that can produce crops and agricultural produce in large quantities with the aim of fresh marketing and agricultural industrialization to enhance the strategic stock.
Other areas which can help are localization of industrial activities related to agricultural production within agricultural areas with the aim of encouraging agricultural industrialization and benefiting from the manufacture of agricultural products of a seasonal nature to raise their marketing efficiency and reduce price fluctuations, while working on developing a method of food manufacturing based on agricultural products such as the manufacture of fresh juices, tomato paste and jams, or freeze and dry vegetables and creating the appropriate conditions and providing the necessary financial credits to the concerned parties to manage the strategic stock of agricultural and food commodities and providing the required quantities of various commodities while working on their sustainability. This is in addition to adopting an integrated approach to food security, through public private partnership, that includes the main elements of the food value chain, including harvesting, transportation, import and export, processing, storage and marketing, to make food available and accessible.