Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s agricultural production has grown by 12 per cent since 2019, reaching a value of Dh13.7 billion in 2020, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (Adafsa) said on Wednesday.
The increase meant that the agricultural sector contributed 1.1 per cent to Abu Dhabi’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, compared to 0.8 per cent contributions in previous years. These achievements reflect the UAE leadership’s vision to increase UAE produce and raise the share of the sector in the emirate’s GDP.
The latest statistics, collected by the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, include both plant and animal production. They showed that 707,774 tonnes of crops were produced in 2020, representing 59.6 per cent of total agricultural production and having increased by 33 per cent compared to 2017. Meanwhile, animal production increased by 27 per cent to 286,250 tonnes. Commercial farms, in particular, produced about 168,273 tonnes of cow milk, 50,718 tonnes of poultry meat, 42,916 tonnes of table eggs, and 25,662 tonnes of red meat.
Meanwhile, dates made up 61 per cent of the total plant production with about 258,335 tonnes, compared to 39 per cent of vegetable and fruit production, amounting to 163,189 tonnes.
Switch to modern farming
Adafsa is keen on promoting advanced farming practises, techniques and systems, including vertical farming that produces five to 10 times more than traditional farming. The authority also encourages farm owners to use modern irrigation systems to rationalise water consumption, algorithms to identify potential risks of livestock disease outbreaks and agricultural research outcomes of growing climate-appropriate plants.
For its part, Adafsa also works to increase the competitiveness of local produce in the market. It therefore launched the Abu Dhabi GAP programme, the local version of the GLOBAL GAP, which applies standards of quality agricultural production to ensure food safety, a sustainable environment and the health of food handlers.
Adafsa is also encouraging the transition from conventional to organic farming by awarding relevant licenses to some farm owners, it added.