Income Improvement Program for Farmers Implemented Across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has announced that it had opened to the public across the emirate the program for improving farmers' income with effect from April 1, 2012. The government assistance as part of the program will be given to all farmers who are entitled to it as per Regulation No. 7 of 2010.
ADFCA started receiving documents from the beneficiaries of the program at its various customer service centers located in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region. The centers will accept the documents from the beneficiaries and pass them on to the main office of ADFCA.
The Customer Service Centers at the municipalities of Abu Dhabi, Musaffah and Al Wathba will cover the area of Abu Dhabi. In Al Ain, the centers at the Agriculture Sector's building and municipalities of Al Hiyar, Al Wajn and Mazyad will accept the documents from the farmers, whereas for the Western Region, the customer service centers at Tamm Centers in Madinat Zayed, Al Marfa', Ghayathi and Al Sila' will interact with the farmers.
HE Mubarak Ali Al Mansouri, Executive Director of Agriculture Sector at ADFCA, said: "In view of the developments in the agriculture sector, the income improvement program assumes special significance. The purpose is to build a dynamic, sustainable and economically profitable agriculture sector. The program aims at ensuring a fair income for the farmers in order to encourage them to make farming more competitive and market-oriented, besides conserving precious natural resources."
Al Mansouri said financial assistance to the tune of AED 90,000 will be given to the farm owners every year in equal monthly installments of AED 7500 provided they comply with the rules and regulations. "Those farmers who market dates produced in their farms to Al Foah or to farms with organic farming certificate or good agricultural practices certificate will receive an additional AED 10000 per annum," he revealed.
Though the program has begun to be implemented across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi since last month, it was being implemented in a phased manner in different parts of the emirate from September 2009 onwards. The documents required for entitlement to the program consist of a copy of the passport, identity card for the citizens, copy of the farm plan, ownership certificate, and membership card from the Farmers' Services Centre, dates services agreement between the farm owner and the Farmers' Services Centre and the farm owner's bank account number. As for rented farms, the required documents are certificate from the Abu Dhabi Real Estate Company, copy of the attested rent contract, a certificate specifying that the land is not licensed for building purposes. As for inherited farms, death certificate and limitation of succession certificate are also required.
Among the conditions of entitlement for the income improvement program for farmers as per the Regulation No. 7 of 2010 is a halt to the cultivation of Rhodes grass, one of the most water-intensive crops used for animal feed. However, livestock farm owners will be allowed to cultivate 20% Rhodes grass with a maximum of 8 acres for farms whose size exceed 40 acres. For farms that donï¿½t exceed 40 acres, their owners will be allowed to cultivate no more than 10% of Rhodes grass with a maximum of 4 acres; this is to allow consumption of feed for their own animals especially draught and salinity-tolerant feed which was proved to be useful and efficient for the UAE's circumstances.
Also required is a commitment to not use the farm and its products for non-agricultural commercial purposes, adherence to the directives and advices of the Farmers' Services Centre in regard to irrigation and maintenance, and compliance with all other rules and regulations governing agriculture.