In support of the regulations issued by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), H.E Saeed Al Bahri Alameri, Director General of ADAFSA, has issued a decision regulating the practice of agricultural activities, both plant and animal, on farms benefiting from programs to enhance agricultural sustainability (Financial Support Program).
The decision set conditions for producing plant and animal products, allowing farmers to undertake the two activities in case of fulfilling their conditions. It also indicated the importance of obtaining no-objection certificate from ADAFSA to undertake any other agricultural activity not mentioned in the decision.
For plant production, the decision provided that farms benefiting from financial support program should cultivate the following plants in 25% of farm area: palm trees (a palm tree per 100 square meters), fruit trees (a fruit tree per 40 square meters), vegetables in greenhouses (net, plastic or glass), in not less than 10% of the farm total area (each donum in greenhouses is equivalent to 2.5 donums of farm area), or planting vegetables in open fields in two growing season (summer and winter), provided that the cultivated area should not be less than 25% of farm area throughout the season.
According to the decision, farm owners can undertake all these activities if the cultivated area is not less than 25% of the farm throughout summer and winter growing seasons.
Furthermore, the decision set conditions for farm owners to grow forage crops, except for farms being irrigated with treated sewage water, including possessing identified and registered animals by ADAFSA, benefiting from feed support program. The decision allows also cultivating forage crops in 20% of the farm total area, at a maximum of 8 donums. For farm owners who do not possess identified and registered animals, and who do not benefit from feed support program, they can cultivate forage crops in 40% of the farm total area, at a maximum of 10 donums.
Regarding conditions for practicing animal-related activities, the decision required farm owners benefiting from financial support program and could not plant their farms for reasons beyond their control, such as water depletion, water salinity exceeds 10,000 ppm, or any other natural obstacles, to undertake one or more of animal production activities, including breeding sheep, cows, camels, poultry or fish.
The decision specified a minimum number of animals that should be raised in these farms, including a minimum of 100 heads in sheep farms, 20 heads in camel or cow farms, 2000 chickens in open-poultry farms, and 50,000 chickens over 7 production cycles per year in closed poultry farms. As for fish farms, the minimum quantity of production should not be less than five tons of fish species specified by ADAFSA annually.
ADAFSA affirmed that regulating activities of the agricultural sector, both plant and animal sub-sectors, contributes to promoting sustainable agricultural development and optimal utilization of natural resources in Abu Dhabi. This also ensures farmer's compliance with biosecurity and food safety requirements and legislations, thus fostering local farms' contribution to food and biosecurity systems, and producing safe and high-quality agricultural products.