The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi toured local farms on Saturday as he highlighted the need for home-grown food production.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, met agricultural entrepreneurs who are working to boost produce food growth in one of the world’s most arid regions.
He spoke to Hamed Al Hamed, owner of Gracia Farms, and Dr Khalid Al Shamsi and Ahmed Khalfan Al Shamsi, who run organic farms, about their produce, irrigation methods and marketing, as well as the challenges facing the sector.
“I was pleased to meet some of the UAE’s aspiring agricultural entrepreneurs who are pioneering sustainable and resilient farming practices using modern technology,” Sheikh Mohamed said on Twitter.
“Innovation in this sector is key to our food security goals and our country’s diversified economic growth.”
Sheikh Mohamed was accompanied by Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, who spoke last week of the need to increase local fish production and attract more investment.
Several major farming companies in the Emirates have begun using vertical farming and LED lighting to grow more local produce, while other food producers have boosted production in light of the pandemic.
Sheikh Mohamed said these farms contributed to the country’s self-sufficiency and reduced dependence on external goods.
“Supporting the agriculture sector is consistent with the UAE’s strategy for sustainability, environmental protection and preserving natural resources,” he said.
“The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan attached great importance to agriculture. He supported it and did not listen to those who thought agriculture had no future in the UAE.
“He was a visionary and always believed that agriculture is the backbone of any society. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has continued that approach and is providing full support and incentives to the farmers to develop their agricultural projects.”