A new agricultural development plan aimed at increasing the efficiency of sustainable farming has been launched by Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority. It is designed to encourage all of the emirate’s farmers to adopt a climate-smart approach.
“The comprehensive plan for agricultural sustainability supports the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic Initiative, and is in line with global trends to promote climate-smart agriculture and the food production,” said Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and chairman of the board of directors of Adafsa.
By integrating the way farms operate in Abu Dhabi, Adafsa hopes to improve water usage in the emirate and reduce reliance on its finite supply of groundwater.
Farmers will be encouraged to use recycled or desalinated water sources and to cultivate crops that consume less water and are more resilient to the hot, salty climate of the UAE. Laws governing water consumption will also be introduced.
Farmers in Abu Dhabi have already been encouraged to shift towards organic agriculture, and 75 farms have made the transition. Adafsa’s research stations are also investigating the viability of various smart farming techniques, including vertical farms that can produce 5 to 10 times the yields of traditional agriculture, and drip irrigation techniques to improve water efficiency.
Farms applying these standards are granted a globally recognized certificate. So far, 550 farms in Abu Dhabi have received it, and that number is expected to rise to about 1,500 by the end of next year.
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