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Abu Dhabi Approves Series of AgTech Incentives

Abu Dhabi Approves Series of AgTech Incentives

Tuesday, 12 March, 2019 - 10:30
Technologies to limit water consumption in agriculture (Asharq al-Awsat)
Abu Dhabi has approved a series of incentive packages worth $272 million to support agricultural technology projects (AgTech) for local and international AgTech companies to build and grow in the city.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the incentives aiming to drive the development of the AgTech ecosystem and to establish Abu Dhabi as a global center for desert environment agriculture innovation.

“We look forward to making Abu Dhabi a leading global center for agricultural innovation in desert environments,” the Crown Prince said in a tweet.

The initiative, led by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, ADIO, is part of the government’s economic accelerator program “Ghadan 21” (Tomorrow 21).

Ghadan 21 is the banner name for a series of reforms to stimulate investment, create jobs, encourage innovation, improve the quality of life, as well as cement the UAE as a growing world power.

ADIO has identified cash and non-cash incentives to be made available for agricultural technology firms locally and globally. Incentives could reach up to a 75 percent rebate on research and development expenses, the state news agency WAM said.

Minister of State for Food Security Mariam al-Mehairi indicated the decision is a strong demonstration of the importance of enabling the agricultural sector with modern technology and the need to create an attractive environment for investors in AgTech.

The new decision will enhance R&D and employ scientific research outputs in the development of agricultural production processes and employ the latest technology in all stages of the supply chain, she explained, adding that it is a key pillar for improving food security and achieving its objectives according to the National Food Security Strategy 2051.

Chairman of the Department of Economic Development Saif al-Hajeri explained the incentive packages will enable the creation of advanced AgTech knowledge in Abu Dhabi and help to solve traditional farming challenges.

“This will not only benefit the UAE, but also other nations across the world with arid conditions. Our aim is to position Abu Dhabi as a beacon for innovation in agriculture technologies applied to desert environments.”

Based on statements issued Monday, incentive packages will be awarded to local and international companies focused on delivering solutions within three key sub-sectors: Precision Farming and Agriculture Robotics; Bioenergy (algae); and Indoor Farming. Each of the sub-sectors leverage Abu Dhabi’s climate and environment including plentiful land availability, natural heat and sunlight conditions.

In turn, Acting CEO of ADIO Elham al-Qasim reiterated the Office’s objective is to create clear and specific investment opportunities for domestic and foreign investors aligned with Abu Dhabi’s economic priorities.

“These opportunities can be in the form of public-private partnership projects or sector incentives such as the AgTech package we have launched today. The AgTech incentive packages will not only create a vibrant AgTech ecosystem, but also stimulate the agriculture industry in Abu Dhabi."

In addition to the generous AgTech packages on offer, Abu Dhabi also offers numerous benefits to businesses and innovators including globally competitive tax rates, world-class infrastructure, the ability to handle high-volume commodities, inexpensive energy sources, and favorable tariff structures, according to Qasim.

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