Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The AgriTech Sector Development Team – a newly established team comprising public and private-sector stakeholders from the UAE’s growing agricultural technology sector – convened for a workshop to explore proposed interventions to promote the adoption of technology in agricultural sub-sectors.
Led by Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, the workshop began with an overview of the progress made by the team, which, so far, has made strides in studying international best practices; conducted in-depth situation analysis of the local agriculture sector, identified recommended solutions and potential outcomes, and filed the first and second progress reports to the Cabinet. Still on the agenda for the month of August, the Committee is set to prioritise setting policies, legislations, and regulations, in addition to preparing and submitting the final report.
“The AgriTech Sector Development Team was formed with one mission in mind: to propose legislations, policies, studies, and implementation plans to boost the adoption of technology-based food production in the UAE,” said H.E. Almheiri. “The team strives to promote the adoption of advanced and emerging technologies in every subdivision of the agriculture sector in order to increase local production, establish a green and sustainable economy in the UAE, and ensure food security for the country’s citizens and residents.”
“The UAE’s wise leadership recognises the importance of enhancinglocal production enabled by technology to enhance the UAE’s food security” H.E. continued. “Guided by that vision, the AgriTech Sector Development Team has convened for an extensive workshop with clear objectives to determine the main obstacles standing in the way of introducing modern technology to each major agricultural sub-sector, and to propose solutions where we can intervene in these sectors to remove all hurdles, and pave the way for a world-leading, tech-enabled agriculture sector that will ensure our food security for generations to come.”
The proposed interventions brought to the table ideas to promote the adoption of technology in five sectors: aquaculture, fruits andvegetables, dairy andpoultry, livestock, and industry and grains. All interventions must adhere to two key criteria: they must cover all stages of the supply chain that are facing challenges or obstacles that limit the adoption of technology, and they must undergo quantitative evaluation by addressing the gap against produce cost and imports, and measuring the improvement in the competitiveness of the local produce.
Among the many interventions proposed during the workshop, a few stood out, namely creating AgTech Clusters, consisting of dedicated zones that provide abundance of space for implementing advanced agricultural technologies. Other notable suggestions included providing a low-credit financing and funding mechanism; providing easy, safe and secure access over AgTech inputs using a one-stop-shop licensing service; enhancing access over utility services, products and tariffs; and implementingquality standards.
The AgriTech Sector Development Team brings together representatives from the government and private sectors to brainstorm ways to promote the use of advanced technologies in the agriculture sector, with the objective of ensuring food security for current and future generations in the UAE.