Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has approved a series of incentive packages worth up to Dh1 billion for local and international agriculture technology (AgTech) and other companies to build and grow a presence in Abu Dhabi.
The announcement aims to drive the development of the AgTech ecosystem and to establish Abu Dhabi as a global centre for desert environment and agriculture innovation.
“This initiative has been launched to accelerate the growth of local AgTech companies and encourage other leading international companies in the field to invest in Abu Dhabi. Helping to transform the sector and in turn, create new opportunities that will positively impact the economy in the mid and long-term future,” Al Nahyan said.
“Abu Dhabi offers strong and competitive investment opportunities for AgTech companies that will enable them to scale their innovative products. In addition to Abu Dhabi’s well established logistics sector, our geographical location offers great expansion opportunities with millions of consumers located in surrounding countries all with growing economies and increasing food consumption.”
“With Abu Dhabi’s highly competitive investment opportunity we will help to attract more FDI in advanced and innovative sectors such as AgTech. This will allow for the continual expansion, modernisation and diversification of our agriculture industry and other key sectors in the Emirate.”
The initiative, led by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), is part of the Abu Dhabi Government’s economic accelerator programme, “Ghadan 21”. The creation of an advanced AgTech sector is intertwined with the strategic “knowledge pillar” of the Ghadan programme; to deliver a secure economy that is exploring a broader R&D agenda and secure jobs of the future.
Leveraging Abu Dhabi’s climate and environment including plentiful land availability, natural heat and sunlight conditions, incentive packages will be awarded to companies focused on delivering solutions within three key sub-sectors: precision farming and agriculture robotics; bioenergy (algae) and indoor farming.
The AgTech packages being launched by ADIO, will not only create a vibrant AgTech ecosystem, but are also expected to generate over Dh1.650 billion (US$450 million) of GDP contribution and create more than 2,900 jobs in the emirate by 2021.
In addition to providing generous incentives, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of benefits to AgTech businesses and entrepreneurs including globally competitive tax rates; world-class infrastructure; the ability to handle high-volume commodities; inexpensive energy sources; and favourable tariff structures.
The programme aims to create a vibrant ecosystem for testing technologies and provide avenues for offtake agreements with local, commercial and international farms. It will also promote the adoption of innovative agriculture technologies and stimulate stability and positive competition within the AgTech ecosystem.
The initiative is in line with the broader UAE federal agenda and regulatory changes aimed at attracting global companies to establish an advanced AgTech ecosystem in the UAE.
Ghadan 21 is a three-year, Dh50 billion Abu Dhabi Development Accelerator Programme.
“We look forward to making Abu Dhabi a leading global center for agricultural innovation in desert environments,” he added.