Abu Dhabi: In a bid to reduce the consumption of water, nearly 10,500 farms in the emirate of Abu Dhabi have stopped the cultivation of the water-intensive Rhodes grass, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) announced yesterday. The grass is watered with more than 59 per cent of the 1.5 billion cubic metres of water that is used for irrigation each year. In addition, 2,333 of 8,000 farms in Al Gharbiya have set up modern irrigation systems as part of a Dh133 million project to reduce the usage of water for palm trees, it added.

"We are facing several challenges with water usage, particularly in the agricultural sector," said Mubarak Ali Mohammad Al Mansouri, executive director of agricultural affairs at the ADFCA. On the occasion of World Water Day yesterday, he stressed the need to conserve water.