Marking the International Day of Zero Waste, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has affirmed its commitment to reducing food loss and waste (FLW) across Abu Dhabi.

The entity’s commitment to reduce FLW is part of the Food Loss and Waste Reduction Strategy launched in 2023. The strategy is part of efforts to achieve the objectives of the UAE National Food Security Strategy, which aims to reduce FLW by 50 per cent by 2030, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal on responsible production and consumption. 

The strategy includes various initiatives and programmes, including an awareness campaign under the theme Together Blessings Last, which aims to improve behaviours regarding food production and consumption, and implementing training programmes for workers in food agricultural establishments. It also includes awareness campaigns targeting various segments of society, aimed to rationalise consumption and reduce waste to ensure food security sustainability.

In the area of animal wealth, ADAFSA launched the Fodder Market Programme, which is linked to production based on livestock ownership indicators. The programme has resulted in a significant reduction in food waste and optimal use of production inputs. The programme also introduced a new feed composition for ruminants of 50 per cent concentrates and 50 per cent forage, reducing the FLW of feed and providing economic and production return for farmers.

ADAFSA has also launched the Innovative Solution for Broiler Feeding initiative, which aims to reduce feed costs and manage feed programmes to achieve food sustainability and food security. The entity works with various partners including the Department of Municipalities and Transport and charitable organisations such as the Red Crescent and the Bin Ham Foundation to help ensure the safe and healthy disposal of brucellosis infected animals.

In the agricultural sector, ADAFSA has issued 36 guidelines for maintaining fruit quality after harvest, covering 41 crops. It has also conducted numerous awareness workshops for farmers on the importance of following proper post-harvest practices. More than 1,500 farms have obtained the Abu Dhabi Good Agricultural Practices (AD GAP) certificate, which is the local version of the Global Good Agricultural Practices programme.

The programme is based on global best practices that ensure product quality and safety, improve the efficiency of fertiliser, pesticide and water use, and provide a good opportunity to market local produce that meets the best international food safety standards. ADAFSA also educates farmers on proper practices to reduce production losses through field visits and training in Abu Dhabi.

The entity also supports the adoption of enabling modern technologies and practices in crop production. Key initiatives include the transition to climate-smart practices, the Advanced Agriculture 4.0 programme, and post-harvest procedures and techniques.