Farmers in the Western Region recently gathered to collect details about the AED 100 million Agricultural Investment Fund established by Abu Dhabi Farmers' Service Centre (ADFSC) and Food Security Center Abu Dhabi (FSCAD).
The event allowed a unique opportunity for the Abu Dhabi Farmers' Service Centre staff to speak face-to-face with farm owners, answer questions and distribute as well as collect application forms for those interested in joining the Fund.
The aim of the Fund, which will spend approximately AED 20 million per year until 2017, is to achieve sustainability and contribute to the dissemination of food security umbrella in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, according to Abu Dhabi Farmers' Services Centre.
The Fund will be implemented in partnership between the ADFSC and the Food Security Center in Abu Dhabi (FSCAD) in the farms of the Abu Dhabi Emirate.
ADFSC Business Development Section Manager, Dafer Al Qasemi was at the event in the Western Region to give the first of three presentations with the next one taking place in Al Ain on 13th January and final event to be held in Abu Dhabi on 15th January.
The Fund aims to encourage farmers to introduce modern agricultural techniques with a view to enhance the sustainability of the agriculture sector and reduce harmful effects on the environment. The other goals for the Fund is to: Contribute to food security, develop skills of local farmers through the introduction of new farming techniques and the adoption of the best agricultural practices. The other objective is to contribute to the transfer of advanced technologies in the agriculture sector, improve farm productivity in terms of quantity and quality and enhance farmers' income by increasing the productivity of existing and new investments.
The project consists of series of soft loans to finance agricultural projects. The Fund will cover 50% of the total cost of the project, while the beneficiary farmer will cover the rest of the costs. The farmer will pay the value of the loan interest-free over five years deducted from the revenues of marketing the project products. If the farm has existing greenhouses, it must meet the criteria and specifications of the greenhouses approved by the ADFSC. However, in case of installing new greenhouses, the farmer covers 50% of the total cost of the greenhouses and the hydroponics system paid in advance.