UAE and Philippines sign MoU to develop agricultural sector

Hjayceelyn M Quintana and Noora Karam after signing the MoU in Dubai.

Mariecar Jara Puyod, Senior Reporter

The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have entered into a bilateral agreement that will help strengthen the food security of both countries through joint activities in the field of agricultural innovation.

Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn M Quintana and Under Secretary of State Noora Karam of the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MCCE) signed the ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on agricultural cooperation” on Monday morning at the headquarters of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in Dubai. .

The ambassador was accompanied by the consul general of the Philippine embassy in Abu Dhabi, Marford Angeles, and the agricultural attaché Nolet Fulgencio.

With the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), directions for cooperation have been defined towards soil science and management, biotechnology, post-harvest, agricultural research and development, agricultural innovation, protected agricultural technology , irrigation and water resources.

Based on the “Overview of Bilateral Relations between the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates” page of the diplomatic mission’s website, the MoU is historic. Double taxation and prevention of tax evasion with respect to income and capital taxes”, signed on September 21, 2003 in Dubai and entered into force, after the approval of September 15, 2008 by the Philippine Senate, on September 2 October , 2008.

The most recent memorandum of understanding is significant as President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who would be sworn in on June 30 (Thursday), will take over the reins of the Department of Agriculture.

Marcos Jr. reportedly said on June 20, after announcing his decision, “As far as agriculture is concerned, I think the problem is serious enough that I have decided to take on the portfolio of Secretary of Agriculture, At least for the moment”.

He also said that at least until we can reorganize the Department of Agriculture in a way that makes it ready for the next few years to come.

“We’re going back to basics and trying and we’ll rebuild the agriculture value chain.”

He added: “It is important that the president takes the portfolio in order not only to make it clear to everyone what priority we place on the agricultural sector.” Quintana said on Monday: “As we tackle the effects of climate change and international conflict on our food security, this memorandum of understanding on agriculture establishes the commitment of the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates in this area of ​​cooperation. at a higher level.

Quintana added, “The Philippines, being one of the countries most affected by climate change, views the signing of this MoU as timely and relevant.”

The United Arab Emirates was the largest market in the Middle East for Philippine agricultural exports in 2021 with nearly $94 million (Dhs345,263,410.00/Php5,150,410,000.00).

Lana T. Arthur