Sustainable Development Goals
Supply chain during COVID-19 crisis in Kuwait webinar series #3: Controlled environment agriculture, food cold chain logistics and digital technologies
Discuss the potential of technology examples to effectively tackle challenges in food supply chains. The webinar also aims to contribute to the collaboration between the Government of Kuwait, UN and FAO in support for developing a national strategy for food security and nutrition.
Exchange of knowledge between the Government, UN and FAO on experiences and best practices related to the topics discussed. Contribute to the production of a joint policy report on “Managing broken supply chain in the context of COVID-19 in Kuwait.” Contribute to policy dialogue in the area of sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition
About the event
Covid-19 has caused disruptions to the food supply chains around the world and raised concerns about food security. In Kuwait, supply chains of goods and services have been negatively affected. To avoid food shortages, the Government of Kuwait has made every effort to keep the food supply chains alive. This has allowed to manage the unprecedented challenges. The Covid-19 revealed the fragility of food systems, and the importance for Kuwait to be even more attentive to food and nutrition security. Issues of domestic production, food loss and waste, overweight and obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is receiving a much greater attention. Kuwait, likewise other GCC countries, with the dominating dry climate, land and freshwater scarcity, face limitations in expanding agricultural capacity. Challenges are many; innovative agricultural technologies and solutions are required to enlarge production, distribution and marketing. There is an increasing interest to produce more food locally to avoid exposure to food supply shortages and become less dependent of international import markets. Improved technologies in sustainable agriculture and food systems are expedient for Kuwait. The lower water requirements of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) make it possible to increase domestic production of high value and nutrient-rich crops like fruit and vegetable. There is a comparative advantage in adopting CEA in the context of energy abundance, water shortage and high degree of urbanization. The interest of producing more domestic fruit and vegetable availability is also driven by nutritional challenges, with a high prevalence of overweight and obesity, a high prevalence of related NCDs, notably type-2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. While production of staple crops is not economically feasible, the poultry, egg and vegetable production is increasing as the country is promoting import substitution. However, access to markets by local producers remains the most crucial challenge, as demand for local products is slim. E-commerce platforms, connecting farmers and producers to markets, as well as the digitalisation in supply chains are among the emerging areas that Kuwait should benefit from. Improving traceability in food processing and distribution, usage of blockchain technologies, tokenisation, allowing consumers to trace local produce, and can contribute to adoption of innovations in food systems. Another challenge is to develop shorter food supply chains and extend the shelf life of high-value products to cope with contingent Covid-19 pandemic and promoting sustainable food logistics chain from production to markets. To this end, the Passive refrigeration system (PRS), offers practical applications across the food supply chain for energy saving and weight losses of products in storage, extending the shelf life of produces and improving the quality of preservation.
Expected Outcomes: Exchange of knowledge between the Government, UN and FAO on experiences and best practices related to the topics discussed. Contribute to the production of a joint policy report on “Managing broken supply chain in the context of COVID-19 in Kuwait.” Contribute to policy dialogue in the area of sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition