What the UAE needs from Africa in order to invest in agriculture

argylesock says… Call me cynical – yes I am – but this sounds like a land grab. Mr Al Shirawi wants to develop farms in Africa, to feed people in the United Arab Emirates. To me this paragraph sums it up. ‘“Any type of partnership has to be a win-win situation. Anything else would be a recipe for demise sooner or later… By creating such huge job opportunities and cash circulation within that zone, that by itself will create opportunities for [Africa] to establish additional and other businesses, and if a percentage [of agricultural produce] has to stay within Africa, let it be,” continued Al Shirawi.’ You might choose to follow my tags ‘dryland’ and ‘sustainable’ for more about this.



Food security is a problem for many regions around the world, including the Middle East. The World Bank estimates that 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa, placing the continent’s role in agricultural production at the forefront of global discussions.

H.E. Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi

H.E. Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi


BY Kate Douglas 

One of the economies that is eyeing Africa’s agricultural potential is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to H.E. Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi, chairman of Economic Zones World in Dubai, Africa has the solution to the UAE’s limited food production capacity.

“Food security is a major issue for us in the UAE and in the region in general. As you know we are part of the desert region of the world with water scarcity and scarcity of fertile soil. So any agriculture activity here in this part of the world is a…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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