The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has approved a series of incentive packages worth a total of AED 1 billion (USD 272 million) for local and international agricultural technology (AgTech) companies. This incentive, led by Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is aiming to encourage the companies to build and grow presence in Abu Dhabi, making the Emirate as a global centre for desert environment agriculture innovation.
By 2021, AgTech in the Emirate is also expected to generate over AED 1.6 billion (USD 450 million) of GDP contribution and create more than 2,900 jobs. As stated by the Crown Prince, the AgTech initiative will offer a series of cash and non-cash incentives to accelerate the growth of local AgTech companies and other leading international companies in the field to invest in Abu Dhabi, helping to transform the sector and create new opportunities to positively impact the economy.
As a part of Ghadan21 project, the AgTech initiative includes allowance on research and development (R&D) expenses equivalent to 75% of the total R&D cost. Additionally, teh Agtech package also offers numerous benefits to businesses and innovators, including competitive tax rates, world-class infrastructure, inexpensive energy sources, the ability to handle high-volume commodities and favourable tariff structures.
The Crown Prince stated that the Emirate offers strong and competitive investment opportunities for AgTech companies, enabling them to scale their innovative products. Additionally, the well establish logistic sector and Abu Dhabi’s geographical location offer great expansion opportunities with millions of consumers located in surrounding countries all with growing economies and increasing food consumption.
Agriculture sector represents a central activity for related economic activities and hold the key importance in the achievement of food security. The Emirate has set a worldwide example in overcoming the dry conditions of the desert, converting its aid terrain into green farms producing a variety of vegetables and fruits for the consumer market. According to Abu Dhabi Statistics Centre, the number of plant holdings increase 38-folds over the four decades from 634 in 1971 to 24,018 in 2017. While the size of arable land expanded by 33-fold from 22,377 donum to 749,868 donum during the same period.
In addition to being the main supplier of food commodities and raw materials for many of the food industry in the Emirate, agricultural sector is one of the key productive sectors and a major component of GDP. Thanks to the wise policies of the government, Abu Dhabi managed to overcome with tough arid conditions and high temperatures and establish a successful agricultural sector that reflects the Emirate’s ambitious pursuit of sustainable development.
Abu Dhabi also enjoys robust foreign trade in agricultural goods supported by its geographical location and its proximity to East Asian countries. Along with the trade facilities and trade laws and regulations in force, these factors have contributed to the growth and development of commercial exchange of food and other agriculture goods and products through Abu Dhabi’s ports.