Essa Al Ghurair, chairman of Al Ghurair Resources has urged industry stakeholders to invest in the region’s food security, according to a statement released by Al Ghurair Investment LLC.

Referencing Alpen Capital’s latest report on healthcare and food security, the GCC’s heavy reliance on food imports, stated as much as 90%, in combination with the region’s increasing population, which is expected to reach in excess of 53 million by 2020, clearly outlined the need to better prepare for regional consumption, which is estimated to be growing at a compound annual growth rate of 3.1 between 2012 – 2017.

Speaking at the 3rd International Conference on Global Warming, organised by the Environment Protection and Development Authority (EPDA), of Ras Al Khaimah, Al Ghurair commented; “Global warming, food security and sustainability are some of the focal issues that countries in the Gulf are trying to tackle. Food security could help socio-economic development and strengthen stability in the region.”

As we embark on an exciting journey where our country prepares for the next phase of development to become a smart and happy nation guided by the government’s Vision 2012, food security could help strengthen our ambitious journey ahead.”

The UAE which has bolstered its efforts in recent years to improve its food security through the purchase or lease of land in East Africa, Southern Europe and South Asia, including most recently Al Rawafed who operates 11,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Republic of Serbia.

Al Ghurair Resources, the agricultural commodities division of Al Ghurair Investment is reportedly the largest grain unloading and handling operator in the Middle East, and recently set a national record for food commodity imports into the UAE at 301,750 metric tonnes, using seven Panamax and two Supramax vessels.