Payment of grants conditional upon full compliance with government regulations
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority will begin on August 1, 2011 disbursing the governmental grants for farmers in the emirate as part of the restructured agricultural support program.
The new agricultural support program assumes critical importance as the payment will now be made to the farmers only if they complied with all the rules and regulations governing the preservation of water resources and the modernization of farming in the emirate.
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA said the stringent conditions tied to the disbursal of government assistance were meant to raise the bar on farming practices in the emirate in terms of profitability, ecological and environmental soundness and best practices. "Non-cultivation of animal feeds, especially the water-intensive Rhodes grass is one of the principal conditions for receiving government aid. Animal growers among the farmers are, however, permitted to cultivate feeds in a limited area for feeding their privately owned livestock, subject to ADFCA's approval," he pointed out.
"Membership in the Farmers' Services Centre is the second principal condition. The advices and services of the Centre are crucial to achieving the desired agricultural advancement for the emirate. A contract with the Centre for its services for cultivating date palm is another stipulation. Not renting or exploiting the farms for commercial purposes other than farming and breeding livestock is also built into the new system," Al Reyaysa explained.
Strict adherence to the guidance and instructions from the Farmers' Services Centre with respect to irrigation methods and farm maintenance is a must for qualifying for the assistance. No more than one well per one hector of farmland is allowed. All other relevant policies and regulations governing agriculture will have to be demonstrably implemented. Non-compliance with any of the above stipulations will result in entitlement for government assistance being withheld or cancelled.
"All the farmers are required to sign a contract with ADFCA, agreeing to comply with all the conditions and acknowledging that they will be disqualified in case of non-compliance. The new measures being implemented are in the best interests of the farming community in the emirate, as they stand to gain most when the agricultural reforms currently underway produce the desired results. The purpose is to achieve better food security, profitability for the profession of farming and improved ecological and environmental equilibrium for the emirate," Al Reyaysa concluded.