ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a diverse portfolio of major enterprises spanning across key sectors of Abu Dhabi, has revealed its plan to launch the UAE’s first fresh produce AgTech Park in Al Ain, to position the country as the leading fresh produce farming hub.
With the new AgTech Park project, in Al Ain Industrial City (AAIC) under Abu Dhabi Ports Industrial Cities & Free Zone Cluster, ADQ aims to boost the UAE’s sustainable innovation-centric food production and distribution and thus to reduce the nation’s reliance on premium food imports.
In line with the project, ADQ will join hands with three controlled-environment agriculture specialists to develop and operate greenhouse facilities within the AgTech Park.
The strategic location of the park will increase efficiency in the processing, storage, and distribution of perishable goods and food supplies for the region. ADQ estimates the 200-hectare AgTech Park to have an annual fresh fruits and vegetables production capacity of 39 kilotonnes.
The progressive tech-enabled infrastructure in the AgTech Park is expected to help large-scale, controlled-environment farming and research and development (R&D) initiatives which allow the farmers to cultivate high-quality, fresh produce, including nutritious fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.
“ADQ is actively investing in developing the UAE’s agriculture sector into a leading regional food hub, fortifying the resilience of its food system. With a scalable, environmentally sustainable AgTech Park, we will increase the availability of high-quality local produce while leveraging technology to optimize the use of our natural resources, such as water, and protecting our environment. 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.”
With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE government has set the goal 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.
Mr. Gil Adotevi, Executive Director of Food and Agriculture at ADQ, “The strategic project directly complements our sustained efforts to expand local food production utilizing the latest technologies that ensure safe, nutritious and sufficient food year-round.”
The development of AgTech Park is aligned with ADQ’s strategy to grow a thriving food and agriculture ecosystem for the UAE. To ensure reliable access to food supplies, it is vital to increase local food production and strengthen the UAE’s position as a regional hub.