The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) and Emirates Development Bank (EDB), the key financial engine of the UAE’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a scheme to offer finance solutions to modern agricultural SMEs and start-ups in a bid to contribute to the UAE’s sustainable economic development and food security – one of EDB’s five priority sectors that play a vital role in strengthening the economic resilience and competitiveness of the UAE. The agreement was signed by Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Food Diversity Sector at the Ministry, and Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, CEO of EDB. The MoU aligns with ministry's endeavours to scale up local agricultural production to increase the sector’s role in strengthening the country’s food security. Alameeri said, "Improving local agricultural production through promoting the adoption of modern agriculture is a priority for MoCCAE in line with its strategy to enhance food security. The agreement with the EDB falls within the ministry’s efforts to join forces with strategic partners to explore opportunities that drive agricultural and fisheries production and launch appropriate financing schemes to attract entrepreneurs." Al Naqbi said, "The EDB is focused on supporting sectors that diversify the economy towards non-oil GDP, and develop sectors that are a national priority for economic self-reliance and those that offer stable and sustainable growth. We are pleased to sign this MoU, which is in line with our efforts to support the food security sector that includes agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, and water desalination as well as other tech-based food and agricultural solutions." Al Naqbi added, "The MoU reflects our commitment to the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 which focuses on implementing resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity. The food security sector is one of the EDB’s priority sectors due to its pivotal role in the sustainable development of the country. We will work closely together to explore areas of collaboration and provide flexible and competitive financing and non-financing solutions to support companies operating in this sector." Under the MoU, the two parties will identify collaboration opportunities in food security and supporting SMEs and start-ups. The EDB will offer financing solutions to modern agricultural businesses, while the MoCCAE will host regular seminars and introductory courses on modern agricultural methods and technologies.