ADFSC targets to achieve a 40% presence of locally-produced fruits and vegetables in the markets of the Emirate by 2015 and reduce 40% water consumption by 2013.
The Abu Dhabi Farmer’s Services Centre (ADFSC) targets to achieve a 40 per cent presence of locally-produced fruits and vegetables in the markets of the Emirate by 2015 and reduce 40 per cent water consumption by 2013.
This was stated by Khalifa Al Ali, Managing Director and Board Member of FSC, while officially launching Zera’atona (Our agriculture) campaign, which aims to bring centrestage the sustainable agriculture strategy in line with Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Vision.
There are around 24,000 farms in the emirate of which around 8,500 farms are in the Western Region, some 12,000 in Al Ain and about 3,000 in Abu Dhabi.
Talking to Khaleej Times, Al Ali said: “Our target today is to obtain at least 40 per cent of the local produce to be presented in the local markets of the Emirate by 2015. Currently we can say that the presence of local tomato, potato and other local vegetable for example is very high during the cropping season and it represents 70 per cent in the market. But round the year we want a 40 per cent representation.”
The production of these two vegetables is gradually growing. However, the production of other crops is comparatively less as farmers are using different techniques of production for generating more monetary benefits and due to awareness deficiency, Al Ali added.
“But we are trying to convince them to use better technology to reduce the water consumption, he said.
The farmers in the Emirate are currently producing 10 to 15 types of vegetables successfully, while fruits are grown in cultivated areas only which include mango, strawberry, apples and others, Al Ali said. According to the ADFSC, the total quantity of sales for June 2010 to June 2011 cropping season is 16,790,829 kilos (locally-produced vegetable and fruits), while the total value of sales for the same cropping season is Dh12,402,658.
Zera’atona campaignThe Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) together with the Farmers’ Services Center (FSC) launched Zera’atona (“our agriculture”) campaign.In a Press conference recently, ADFCA and FSC highlighted the need for furthering and implementing initiatives to fuel the agriculture sector in the Emirate.
The campaign seeks to ensure economic diversification and agricultural sustainability through preserving vital natural resources, motivating farmers to adopt state-of-the-art technologies and promoting local produce.
ADFCA’s Agricultural Affairs Sector will have a legislative and monitoring role alongside managing and streamlining government support programmes emirate-wide with a view to make farming more sustainable and lucrative.
FSC will provide agricultural services and strengthen awareness, besides helping farmers market their produce according to the best practices and line with Abu Dhabi’s agricultural sustainability plans outlined in ADFCA’s strategies.
Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communications and Community Services at ADFCA, said, creating awareness about the importance of sustainable development is crucial to the success of our efforts.
“In order to reap the fruits of this campaign, farmers play an integral role in promoting locally-grown produce and raising its competitive edge in line with Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision. ADFCA and FSC are committed to providing all means deemed essential to support the farmers to achieve the goals. We will also encourage the farmers to cultivate crops that are high in demand,” Al Reyaysa said.