Confronting Scarcity: HKAC’s Vision for the Ties in Developing Sustainable, Efficient Solutions to Food Insecurity Challenges

The world currently faces a global food crisis. Various factors have converged to create a crisis with worrying implications for vulnerable populations. Climate change has had deleterious effects on agricultural production in many regions. Recent analyses indicate substantial rises in worldwide agricultural commodity costs in 2021 drove nearly 30 million more citizens in financially constrained countries into precarious food availability. Thus, green food technologies have become integral to resolving this pressing issue that determines our survival.

Food insecurity is a growing concern for many Middle Eastern nations. Data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) shows that nearly 30% of the Middle East and North African population is undernourished. FAO statistics also reveal Middle Eastern countries import around 50% of their cereal consumption on average, leaving them vulnerable to global market fluctuations. Unless steps are taken to increase domestic agricultural yields through sustainable practices and protect regional food supply chains from geopolitical instability, as seen in ongoing conflicts. The UN projected that over 38 million people in the Middle East and North Africa could face food insecurity by 2030. Enhanced regional cooperation is imperative to boost self-sufficiency and resilience against future food security challenges.

Food Tech Valley in Dubai. Photo credit: Gulf Business

With these constraints, the UAE is confronting scarcity head-on rather than ignoring it. In 2021, Dubai launched the first phase of Food Tech Valley, where start-ups and technologists collaborate to develop technologies that enhance the country’s self-sufficiency. Already ranked 21 out of 113 countries on the Global Food Security Index, the UAE aims to be among the top of the Index by 2051. The country has developed the National Food Security Strategy 2051, aiming to implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production while maintaining ecosystems.

OmniFoods. Photo credit: Green Monday

Green Monday OmniFoods Tasting Business and Investor Lunch with Dubai’s influential guests such as Jeremy Jauncey, Founder and CEO of Beautiful Destinations; Wassim Youssef Said, Advisor to UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment; and Ananya Narayan, Managing Director of Hunter Foods.

The Hong Kong Ambassadors Club in support of fighting the global food crisis and is actively seeking opportunities for potential collaborations. HKAC has taken a pioneering role in connecting with like-minded partners who hold a shared mission. In the recent “BridgeME UAE-HK Food Tech Delegation” held in early October, HKAC co-founders: The Hon Jeffrey Lam, GBM, GBS, JP, Member of the Legislative Council and the Executive Council of the HKSAR Government; and Patrick Tsang, Chairman of Tsangs Group, had led Green Monday Holdings to the UAE for building trusted relationships. Green Monday is the Asia pioneer in plant-based movement and food technology innovation, aiming to construct a multi-faceted global ecosystem of future food that combat climate change, food insecurity, public health crisis, planetary devastation, and animal suffering. Our UAE partners participated in a food-tasting luncheon of its OmniFoods, and successfully established local partnerships. OmniFoods has since launched innovative future food products enabling consumers to eat more sustainably and healthily.

In late November, HKAC will be privileged to join COP28 UAE in Dubai. We are honoured to lead Hong Kong’s talented and versatile young business leaders in delegations with various parties, where Hong Kong’s green technologies boost sustainable developments in the region through mutually beneficial exchange. With the HKAC profound efforts connecting Hong Kong and the Middle East, the best resources and technologies can be utilised in the best place for the maximisied positive impacts in the world.