Sweihan farmers receive training on challenges of UAE agriculture

The Zaarie session is aimed at helping farmers overcome lack of water and high levels of salinity in the UAE soil.

ABU DHABI // More than 40 farmers attended a training programme on challenges in agriculture, launched on Wednesday.

The Khalifa Fund, in coordination with the Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre, organised the Zaarie session in Sweihan to help farmers overcome the lack of water, dryness and high levels of salinity in the soil.

It “was designed to give comprehensive training and financial services to Emiratis working in the agricultural sector”, said Ahmed Al Romaithi, the programme manager.

“It aims to support them to improve their farms though encouraging them to use the best technology and to spread modern farming techniques that reduce water consumption, such as hydroponics.”

Farmers applying to the programme must have a property larger than 4,000 square metres, with water salinity not exceeding 500 parts per million. They should have enough water for eight greenhouses.

“There is also a 50 per cent contribution to the full funding amount,” said Abdulla Al Hameli, the programme’s business counsellor.

The fund will provide interest-free loans of up to Dh1 million over two years. It also includes a flexible payment schedule of up to 60 months.

The fund aims to raise awareness through these sessions, along with specialised training in accounting, preparing budgets and farm management.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

* An earlier version of this article said the fund will cover 5 per cent of the cost when in fact it will cover 50 percent.

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