Abu Dhabi’s ADQ to start new AgTech park in Al Ain to boost local food production

The centre will have capacity to produce 39 kilo-tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables per annum

Hydroponics 6m green house in Gracia Farms in Al Shahama. Gracia uses hydroponic and NGS systems.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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Abu Dhabi’s holding company ADQ plans to start a new venture in Al Ain to boost the production of fresh fruits and vegetables in the UAE and reduce reliance on imports.

ADQ will team up with three agriculture specialists to develop and operate greenhouse units within the new AgTech Park at Al Ain Industrial City, with an annual production capacity of 39 kilo-tonnes, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The new park will come up in an area spanning 200 hectares.

“ADQ is actively investing in developing the UAE’s agriculture sector into a leading regional food hub, fortifying the resilience of its food system,” Mansour AlMulla, group chief investment officer at ADQ, said.

“With a scalable, environmentally sustainable AgTech Park, we will increase the availability of high-quality local produce while leveraging technology to optimise the use of our natural resources, such as water, and protecting our environment.”

After the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE government has aimed to boost local food production and reduce the need for imports, which the country has long relied on.

It launched a number of initiatives to boost the local production of food.

In 2020, the Abu Dhabi government said it would offer more than Dh110 million ($30m) in financial incentives to agriculture technology companies looking to set up operations in the emirate as part of its Dh50 billion Ghadan 21 accelerator initiative.

“Efficient AgTech solutions for fresh produce can help the UAE achieve higher production levels and lower water usage, unlocking the economic and environmental benefits of having shorter supply chains,” Gil Adotevi, executive director of food and agriculture at ADQ, said.

Set up in 2018, ADQ is one of the region’s largest holding companies with direct and indirect investments in more than 90 companies locally and internationally.

The company’s portfolio spans key sectors of the economy, including energy and utilities, food and agriculture, health care and pharma, and mobility and logistics, among others.

It also owns Agthia, which produce a variety of foods and beverages, including dates and date products.

Updated: August 31, 2021, 2:51 PM