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Mon 16 Dec 2013 10:50 AM

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Abu Dhabi launches $27m fund to boost farming sector

Agricultural Investment Fund aims to support local farmers and reduce dependence on imported produce

Abu Dhabi launches $27m fund to boost farming sector
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Abu Dhabi has set up a AED100m ($27m) fund to help support local farmers and develop more sustainable farming methods over the next five years.

Khalifa Ahmed Al Ali, managing director of the Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre (ADFSC) announced the launch of the Agricultural Investment Fund, with a budget estimated at AED100m, which will be used “to support and finance the use of modern farming techniques, including hydroponics in greenhouses,” the WAM news agency reported.

The fund will invest around AED20m per year over the next five years and will be in partnership with the Food Security Centre in Abu Dhabi (FSCAD).

Designed to support Abu Dhabi-based farmers, the investments aim to help further develop the emirate’s agricultural community so the region can become less dependent on imported food sources.

"The project consists of the establishment of a soft loan fund to finance agricultural projects; the fund will cover 50 percent of the total cost of the project, while the beneficiary farmer will cover the rest of the costs,” Al Ali said.

“The farmer will pay the value of the loan (interest-free) over five years, deducted from the revenues of marketing the project products. If the farm has existing greenhouses, they must meet the criteria and specifications of greenhouses approved by the ADFSC.”

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