The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), in cooperation with Al Foah- a part of Agthia Group PJSC, a leading regional food and beverages company, announced today the launch of alternative sales channels to trade dates. These additional sales channels have been created for farmers to use for all of their dates outside the subsidy ceiling to support them in selling their dates at competitive prices.
The announcement came during a press conference held at ADAFSA's headquarters on Wednesday, in the presence of several major dates' producers and marketers in the UAE. This is considered the official launch of the alternative sales channels which will be made available at the beginning of the current season starting August 6, until October 27 of this year. It will include physical auctions as well as eZad.ae an electronic platform as an innovative trading channel, to benefit from local and international auctions for wholesale date trade made easy.
The sales channels include an initiative to purchase dates farmed in homes as well as premium dates at competitive prices to encourage producers of premium Emirati dates in private farms, homes, public and private institutions, without the requirement to be a previously registered farmer with Al Foah in the dates' marketing season. This aims to shed light on the diversity of high-quality local dates' sources and upgrade the quality of UAE dates and to enhance their competitiveness, both locally and globally.
ADAFSA and Al Foah - Agthia group had a soft launch for eZad.ae during the last season with the aim of introducing farmers to an innovative trading channel to sell dates in bulk. The platform received an unparalleled turnout from farmers selling dates in addition to buyers from around the world who are interested in purchasing. More than 1,200 buyers signed up on the platform, while 450+ farmers from all over the country registered their interest on eZad.ae. To date more than 100 auctions have closed successfully proving the business model of complete transparency is welcome by both buyers and sellers. One specific auction exceeded 100 tons of dates while the majority of auctions averaged quantities ranging between 1 to 2 tons, further proving eZad a successful model solution for farmers wishing to benefit from sales of dates exceeding the subsidy ceiling at a fair trading price that guarantees profitability for all stakeholders involved in the selling process.
Moreover, Al Foah - Agthia group expanded this activity through the opening of physical auctions on the ground in Al Saad Center, and Saih Al Khair receiving centers, giving the farmers a chance to trade their dates, that exceed the subsidy ceiling, while giving buyers an opportunity for physical inspection.
His Excellency/ Mubarak Ali Alqusaili Al Mansoori, Executive Director of the Agricultural Affairs Sector in ADAFSA, stressed that the launch of additional sales channels to trade Emirati dates reflects the interest of Abu Dhabi's Government to develop and improve the competitive ability of the Emirati dates both locally and globally. Furthermore, one of ADAFSA's main goals is improving the income of the farmers and ensuring they get remunerative returns for their produce, as well as encouraging them to produce the commercially desired varieties both locally and globally.
He said that ADAFSA is committed to providing all forms of support to the additional sales channels and the eZad platform, in the belief of the importance of turning palm cultivation and date production and related industries into a strategic economic activity that contributes to the promotion of sustainable agricultural development and the achievement of global leadership in food security.
He reiterated "ADAFSA stands firmly in supporting all four additional sales channels including the eZad platform. Believing in the importance of transforming the date sector from palm farming to date production and related industries into a strategic economic activity that contributes to the promotion of sustainable agricultural development and global leadership in food security".
"All these alternative sales channels including the physical auctions as well as eZad electronic platform encourage farmers to increase their farms' productivity of dates and improve their quality to satisfy the demand of bulk buyers while enabling said buyers to grow their business by completing purchases in a simplified and transparent manner.
Al Mansouri urged farmers and date producers to interact with the additional sales channels and specifically the eZad platform to trade their dates in bulk. And he encourages all farmers to list their dates outside the subsidy ceiling on the eZad platform.
Stressing the importance of palm tree care and the application of the integrated palm pest management programmes and practices recommended by ADAFSA for its importance in improving the quality and increasing yield of palm trees. Palm trees are a real wealth that can generate good returns for farm owners. they contribute to strengthening the food security system.
His Excellency/ Mubarak Huthaili Al-Mansoori, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Agthia Group, said: "In Agthia Group in general and in al Foah in particular, we attach great importance to the date palm sector. It is an integral part of the vital agricultural sector of the country. It is a cultural legacy that we cherish. We also emphasize our keenness to serve palm farmers as the main pillar of the development of this sector.
"Helping farmers sell their farms' products from dates and earn more profits is an investment in self-sufficiency, as it encourages improved quality and sustainability of dates to support economic growth, and we always strive to make this vital sector a key pillar and producer of food security in the United Arab Emirates."
Al Mansoori added, "The eZad platform is the easiest way to trade dates electronically both locally and globally. It offers farmers a great opportunity to trade their dates easily and conveniently. It opens up broad prospects for access to global buyers. During this season, we are offering encouraging benefits to motivate farmers to register on the eZad platform. All this contributes to the objectives of launching this online platform as an alternative sales channel for trading and selling Emirati dates."