Bahrain: Securing our food supplies

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Prime Minister of Bahrain, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa

Gulf Daily News | 22 November 2010

Bahrain has launched ambitious new projects to ensure food security.

The schemes came under scrutiny at the Cabinet's weekly session

His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa chaired the meeting at Gudaibiya Palace.

Plans to restructure massive government subsidies to benefit targeted needy people were also discussed.

The session outlined new internal investment projects aimed at consolidating Bahrain's food security.

Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro submitted a memorandum detailing plans to establish companies in key food sectors, particularly aquaculture (pisciculture), poultry, meat and vegetables.

The session discussed projects to construct silos and warehouses to ensure strategic food stocks and prolong the longevity of storing facilities in Bahrain.

It paid tribute to the Industry and Commerce Ministry for its efforts to back the initiatives of the private sector to consolidate Bahrain's food security.

These include, in particular, the establishment of privately-owned companies to produce sugar and process dates.

The private sector is embarking on schemes to boost the production of leafy vegetables in green houses.

It is also spearheading efforts to invest in agricultural projects abroad as part of the drive to boost food security.

Private investments are being pumped into several countries to produce fruit, vegetables, rice and corn and meet Bahrain's demand for these commodities.

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Bahrain News Agency | 21 November 2010

HRH Premier Chairs Cabinet Meeting

Manama, Nov. 21. (BNA) The cabinet today welcomed the Singapore’s President S R Nathan's state visit to Bahrain at the invitation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, asserting that the visit will further boost bilateral cooperation between the two friendly countries.

This came as His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa chaired today at the Gudaibiya Palace the new cabinet's regular weekly meeting. During the meeting, HRH Premier instructed the cabinet to focus on setting up more projects and upgrading the quality of the citizen-oriented services, urging ministers to spare no effort in helping the government carry out the policies outlined by HM King Hamad and meet the citizens' aspirations.

"The governmental performance must match the challenges posed by the global financial down turn," HRH Premier said, calling upon ministers to come up with the most suitable mechanisms that can make the government's spending more effective so as to be able to adapt itself with the global economic conditions.

HRH Premier congratulated the Bahraini Haj pilgrims on being able to perform the fifth pillar of Islam successfully and on their safe return home, instructing the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry to submit a detailed report on the Bahrain Hajj mission. In this context, the cabinet expressed its sincere congratulations to Saudi Arabia, led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdulla bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, on the success of the Haj season, lauding the tremendous efforts exerted by the Saudi authorities to serve Haj pilgrims and ensure their safety.

After that, the cabinet discussed the requirements of food security and the need to restructure the government subsidies in order to ensure that they reach the targeted citizens only.

The cabinet reviewed the latest developments regarding the establishment of new companies aiming at consolidating food security in the fields of aquaculture, poultry, meat and vegetables and setting up storerooms in order to save food products and ensure their longevity. In this context, the cabinet was briefed on the Industry and Commerce Ministry's efforts in support of the private sector's initiatives that would enhance food security, including new projects to build factories to produce sugar locally, produce and pack dates and the cultivation of leafy vegetables in greenhouses.

The cabinet reviewed the Industry and Commerce Minister's memorandum on the Bahraini private sector's external investments in a number of countries in the areas that support food security of the Kingdom, including the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, rice, sugar and maize, as well as the establishment of dairy farms, agricultural technology and food industries, food processing, packaging and distribution, asserting that those projects should benefit the local market and be reflected positively on food abundance and prices.

On the use of public property for establishing and developing the communication networks' infrastructure, the Cabinet discussed the Cabinet Affairs Minister who is in Charge of the Communication sector's memorandum containing a draft law regulating the use of public property for public communication. The cabinet also endorsed the formation of a National Committee on Chemical Weapons' development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention and destruction, which will be entrusted with proposing legislations, regulations and necessary decisions on ways of implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention ratified by the kingdom in 1997. The cabinet also took note of a report on the beneficiaries of the Insurance against Unemployment programme in the third quarter of this year. The report also indicated that unemployment rate reached 3.7%.
Original source: Gulf Daily News
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