PH, UAE ink MOU for agri innovation

July 2, 2022 Cristina Lee-Pisco 89 views

THE Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on agricultural cooperation on June 27, 2022, that will provide a strong framework for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. and concurrent Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary, to work with Emirates country as a partner in the Middle East for agricultural innovation.

This MOU is expected to help the new administration, especially as the new Philippine president will concurrently take the helm of DA, indicating a “strong” focus on agriculture.

Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn M. Quintana was accompanied by Assistant Undersecretary Noora Karam of the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MCCE) during the signing ceremony.

Also present was Consul General Marford Angeles and Agriculture Attaché Nolet Fulgencio.

“As we grapple with the effects of climate change and international conflicts on our food security, this MOU on Agriculture puts Philippines-UAE engagement in this area of cooperation at a higher level. The Philippines, being one of the countries most affected by climate change, views the signing of this MOU as timely and relevant as it paves the way for a Joint Committee where officials of the Philippines and the UAE will set directions for cooperation in soil science and management, biotechnology, post-harvest, agriculture R&D [Research & Development], agri-innovation, protected agriculture technology, irrigation, and water resources,” said Quintana.

It will build upon complementarities between the Philippines and the UAE, each having different climatic conditions and equipped with unique and specific areas of specialization that can be applied towards providing solutions in agricultural production for the benefit of both countries, as well as set the stage for maximum exploration of the huge potential for growth in agricultural cooperation.

The importance of the UAE to the Philippines in agricultural terms cannot be overemphasized, as the country was the Philippines’ largest market in the Middle East for agricultural food products, with exports amounting to almost US$94 million in 2021.