DMCC sets up online marketplace to boost food imports from India

Agriota uses blockchain technology to ensure traceability in food trading

DMCC's new Agriota platform was jointly developed with India's CropData Technology. Sarah Dea / The National
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The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre free zone has launched an agricultural trading platform to connect farmers in India with food companies in the UAE, in an effort to boost food imports from India.

Agriota, a technology-driven agri-commodity trading and sourcing platform that uses blockchain, cuts out middlemen and ensures "traceability to create value for all stakeholders", DMCC said on Wednesday.

The free zone added that "this type of aggregation has the potential to empower local communities, deliver better quality farm-to-shelf products".

The platform will enable trading in cereals, pulses, oil seeds, fruits, vegetables, spices and condiments by connecting farmers to UAE companies directly.

Agriota, which was jointly developed with India's CropData Technology, is also a step towards boosting UAE's food security, the free zone said.

“The UAE has a comprehensive plan in place to ensure food security and champion agribusiness trade facilitation, with the ultimate goal of positioning our nation as a world leading hub in innovation-driven food security," said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman and chief executive of DMCC.

"The launch of an innovative model like Agriota will inch the UAE closer to the top of the Global Food Security Index.”

The UAE, which imports 90 per cent of its food due to its arid climate, is looking to boost local food production by 40 per cent, according to the UAE Ministry for Food Security.

The country has also invested heavily in agri-tech businesses in the wake of the pandemic, which disrupted global supply chains.

Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi Investment Office spent $100 million (Dh367m) to bring four agriculture technology companies to the emirate. Adio teamed up with AeroFarms, Madar Farms, RNZ and RDI to build agri-tech research and development facilities and production centres in Abu Dhabi.

In 2019, Abu Dhabi government also launched a Dh1bn initiative to support the establishment of agricultural technology companies in the emirate, as part of the Ghadan 21 stimulus package