In cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has developed a pipeline of investment projects worth AED 1 billion for the private sector to enhance the food security and agricultural sustainability system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
As part of these projects, ADAFSA has awarded five investment projects to four major local companies and a veterinary clinic to build on the emirate's rapidly growing agricultural value chain with long-term Musataha agreement for periods of up to 30 years.
The projects, which are together valued at approximately AED 75 million will enhance food security and agricultural sustainability in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The first project with Agthia Group, a part of ADQ, will establish a farm for conducting research and improving forage products in Al Khatam, Abu Dhabi. The farm will include a poultry processing facility and a research laboratory for producing and testing animal feed quality to ensure adequate nutrition. The project will advance animal production in the UAE by improving quality, increasing productivity and reducing animal mortality.
Al Suwaidi and Al Ghurair Group will invest in two other projects, the establishment of a dairy processing plant for sheep and goat milk in Al Khatam, to produce cheese (Pittas Brand). This project will help support the food security system and build capacity for small-scale farmers. The second project is to establish a vertical farm to produce leaf vegetable in the same area. The farm will use advanced vertical farming technology and contribute to meeting the local market's leaf vegetable supply.
The fourth project will establish Roqaiaat Veterinary Center, in Al-Qou'a, Al Ain, to serve approximately 200 farms and camel races. According to the agreement, Al Roqaiaat Veterinary Center will establish a laboratory to support the biosecurity system, develop the livestock sector in the area and provide high-level veterinary services to livestock breeders.
While the fifth project is to establish the "Zahrat Al-Tayeb Livestock Market an integrated livestock market in the Al-Khatim area. The Florida Real Estate Management Company has been assigned to develop the market and its stores, as well as a veterinary clinic, slaughterhouse, auction platform and other service facilities.
H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA, said: "The five separate investment projects directly contribute to the agricultural and food investment strategy developed recently by ADAFSA. In addition to supporting the food security system and research into the agriculture and livestock sector, they will also help increase farmers' and breeders' income in these areas."
"Based on innovation and scientific research, the projects will address soil, water and climate change challenges. They also aim to fulfil our leadership's aspirations to make Abu Dhabi a leading global center for agricultural innovation in desert environments, realise agricultural sustainability, develop the domestic livestock sector and support our biosecurity system," Al Ameri noted.
"We are working in cooperation with ADIO to support domestic and foreign investment in projects that support the food security system and agricultural sector, thus ensuring sustainable development in Abu Dhabi's agricultural and food sectors," he added.
The collaboration between ADIO and ADAFSA aims to promote investment across the agricultural value chain, expanding Abu Dhabi's agriculture ecosystem and growing the supply of sustainable, high quality local food. ADIO worked with the investors to facilitate the setup process, including agreeing long-term Musataha contracts for use of public land.
H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, said: "Musataha long-term contracts are unlocking the true potential of Abu Dhabi's assets and helping to accelerate the growth of Abu Dhabi's private sector. In this case, large tracts of desert land are being transformed through the use of advanced farming techniques. The contracts are enabling these companies to broaden our agriculture ecosystem and expand the supply of locally-grown produce."
Bin Hendi continued: "ADIO's Investor Care team has worked alongside each of these companies from the beginning, helping to streamline the set-up process and facilitate project developments to ensure they can continue to grow in Abu Dhabi."
H.E Eng. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, Acting CEO of Agthia Group, said: "As one of the UAE's leading providers of animal feed solutions with Agrivita, the market leading animal feed brand, we are acutely aware of the vital role livestock plays in food security. This essential sector can provide additional resources and higher productivity of food, as well as shrink the gap between the import of these products and local production."
"The Agrivita Experimental Farm Project will help develop animal feed products under the Agrivita brand and aims to improve animal production in the UAE. The Farm will also test the performance of new or modified feed mixes before they are put on the market so that we can evaluate the product and measure its effectiveness in advance," he added.
According to Al Ameri, ADAFSA is keen to attract leading and innovative knowledge and technology-based investment projects. It provides owners of these projects with long-term Musataha contracts for periods of 30 years, facilitates investment procedures, and offers other incentive packages to create an attractive investment environment.
"Investing in agricultural and food sectors has become one of the most promising investments in the future, as it brings great benefits to investors, society and the country. ADAFSA is proud of its partnership with the private sector and believes in the vital role played by the national companies in supporting the food security system," he said.
ADAFSA is committed to creating more investment opportunities and encouraging companies to make successful investment projects, with the aim of ensuring agricultural development and doubling the agricultural sector's contribution to Abu Dhabi's GDP.