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Press Dossier   News Category    Agriculture And Fisheries    Abu Dhabi’s agricultural production hits Dh13.7 billion in 2020

KHALEEJ TIMES, Saturday, Mar 12, 2022 | Sha'ban 9, 1443

Abu Dhabi’s agricultural production hits Dh13.7 billion in 2020

Emirates: 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 years.

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 owners.

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 per cent).

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.

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