KHALEEJ TIMES, Saturday, Mar 12, 2022 | Sha'ban 9, 1443
Abu Dhabi’s agricultural production hits Dh13.7 billion in 2020
Abu Dhabi achieved a remarkable growth in agricultural production,
including animal and plants, during 2020, with a total value of Dh13.7 billion.
This indicates an increase of 12 per cent compared to 2019, growing at a
compound annual growth rate of 6.5 per cent for 2017-2020, according to the
report issued by the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safey Authority (ADAFSA).
This resulted in increasing the agricultural sector’s contribution to Abu
Dhabi’s GDP to 1.1 percent last year, compared to 0.8 per cent in previous
The agricultural sector which includes both plant and animal production is one
of the most important economic activities in Abu Dhabi, and its contribution to
the GDP is determined after considering all economic activities and sectors.
The significant increase in the agricultural production comes in line with Abu
Dhabi’s aspirations to develop an integrated and flexible food system. Such
accomplishment is attributed to plans developed and implemented by ADAFSA to
fulfill the government goals.
ADAFSA said it was keen on promoting the best farming practices, techniques and
systems, especially vertical farming for its ability to produce 5 to 10 times
more than traditional farming. In addition, the Authority encourages farm owners
to use modern irrigation systems to rationalize water consumption, algorithms to
identify potential risks of livestock disease outbreak, and agricultural
research outcomes to grow climate-appropriate plants.
The authority pointed out that it was working on increasing competitiveness of
local produce in the market. To that end, ADAFSA launched the “Abu Dhabi GAP”
program, the local version of the GLOBAL GAP, which applies standards of quality
agricultural production to ensure food safety, sustainable environmental and the
health of food handlers. On the other hand, ADAFSA encourages transition from
conventional to organic farming by awarding relevant licenses to some farm
Statistics collected by ADAFSA, in collaboration with the Statistics Center Abu
Dhabi (SCAD), show the total local agricultural production hit 707,774 tons in
2020. Crop production reached 421,524 tons, about 59.6 per cent of the total
agricultural production, with an increase of 33% compared to that of 2017.
However, animal production increased by 27 per cent, accounting for about 40.4
per cent of the agricultural production with nearly 286,250 tons.
Regarding animal production, the emirate’s commercial farms produced about
168,273 tons of cow milk (58 per cent), 50,718 tons of poultry meat (18 per
cent), 42,916 tons of table eggs (15 per cent), and 25,662 tons of red meat (9
Meanwhile, dates made up 61 per cent of the total plant production with about
258,335 tons, compared to 39 per cent of vegetable and fruit production,
amounting to163,189 tons.
According to ADAFSA, the animal and plant production, without feed, is expected
to reach 741,886 tons, rising by 33 per cent compared to production in 2017, and
an increase of 5 per cent compared to that of 2020.
By surveying all commercial and small-scale farms in Abu Dhabi, animal
production is expected to increase by 62 per cent compared to that of 2017, and
by 12 per cent compared to production in 2020. However, vegetable and fruit
production is expected to grow by 16.5 per cent compared to that of 2017.
ADAFSA seeks to fulfill the aspirations of farm owners by enabling them increase
local production, improve its competitiveness in the market, and advance
self-sufficiency rates of local products.