Coronavirus: UAE buys thousands of dairy cows from Uruguay to boost food security

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The UAE imported 4,500 dairy cows from Uruguay as part of the Gulf country’s efforts to enhance its food security amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“This shipment is the first of the scheduled shipments, and many more will follow in the upcoming period. They are the beginning of an ambitious launch for the largest dairy cattle breeding project in the UAE to enhance food security locally,” state news agency WAM reported on Sunday.

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The UAE’s Minister of State for Food Security, Mariam al-Mheiri said: “The UAE has a strong and flexible food system and can cope with all current and future changes.”

She added: “The arrival of the first Holstein breeds shipment is a perfect step in strengthening the country's efforts to enhance local production and place it in all UAE markets.”

The UAE authorities ensured prior to the import of the cows that the COVID-19 pandemic “does not affect the safety and timing of import of the living livestock,” according to WAM.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus globally, many feared a possible shortage of supplies amid lockdowns, curfews and limits imposed on operations which disrupted economic activities.

However, UAE authorities have assured the public that the country is well positioned in terms of essential supplies to overcome the crisis.

Early on, in mid-March, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and again in May, he reassured citizens and residents that the UAE is “infinitely able to supply everyone with all the food and medicine they could ever need.”

And in mid-May, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said that the UAE will focus on strengthening its medical, food and economic security as part of its strategy for the post-coronavirus era.

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