News Column

Government supports farmers with fund

May 10, 2014

Binsal Abdul Kader Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: The form of financial support extended to farmers has changed over the years in the UAE.

Earlier, the government provided financial subsidies for every aspect of farming but now, new policies focus on making farmers self-reliant.

New government programmes aim to encourage farmers to be competitive in the market and an agriculture investment fund announced by the Abu Dhabi Farmers Services' Centre (ADFSC) late last year saw an approximate Dh100 million fund to support and finance modern farming techniques.

The fund, which will spend nearly Dh20 million per year until 2017, is a partnership between the ADFSC and the Food Security Centre-Abu Dhabi.

The fund is a development programme that includes a range of services and financing and non-financing facilities to encourage farmers to introduce modern agricultural techniques, reduce the harmful effects on the environment and contribute to the food security system.

The fund will cover 50 per cent of the total cost of the project, while the beneficiary farmer will cover the rest of the costs.

The fund has focused on the hydroponics programme as the first project to enhance food security in the UAE and make the best use of water resources.

Hydroponics is a specialised way of growing plants without using soil. Through an elaborate process of providing the plant its essential needs, hydroponics can yield more produce in smaller spaces. Because there is constant observance of the plant's condition, it allows the farmer to have more control over his plants. The hydroponics project will help reduce the use of chemical pesticides, maximising the efficiency of production while using limited amounts of water and fertilisers, and enabling farmers to have control over the harsh weather conditions that affect production.

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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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