Modern technology use helps boost farm output

DUBAI —The use of modern technology in the agriculture sector has yielded fruit with farm output soaring as more areas were brought under cultivation.

By Meraj Rizvi

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Published: Sun 24 Apr 2005, 10:33 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:06 PM

Agriculture has made considerable progress in the last two decades, despite the soil and arid climate conditions which does not provide an ideal ground for its development, a Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries official said.

According to the official, farm production has soared and a high degree of self-sufficiency has now been reached in vegetable, fruit, dairy and other farm products.

He pointed out that growth in farm production has been largely achieved by increasing areas under cultivation. Total cultivated area was 675,000 donums (acres) in 1995. In the five years 1990-95,total agriculture area grew at approximately 11 per cent per annum despite the difficult conditions.

However, the UAE Yearbook 2004 report states that the UAE’s cultivated area now extends over 2.7 million donums (891,089 acres). This supports over 40 million date palms, together with various types of fruits and vegetables, including mangoes, tomatoes, beans, cucumber and pepper. The UAE’s agricultural research strategic plan has been recently revised in order to focus on integrated and comprehensive research directed at achieving sustainable and significant growth in the sector.

Besides, progress to date has also been achieved by enhancing production methods. The timely use of fertilisers, the use of improved seeds, pest and disease control, improvement of the quality of services to producers, especially in the form of agricultural guidance, as well as provision of adequate irrigation facilities and the development of support methods during both production and marketing stages contributed to these accomplishments, the official pointed out.

Support for farmers has come in the form of reclamation and distribution of agricultural land, provision of necessary equipment and training, large scale planting of palm trees to create suitable shaded areas for farming, together with provision of fresh water and seed stock.

The official added, the country is striving at all times to optimise productivity through work carried out at agricultural research centres and with agricultural guidance to farmers, the report said. Extensive tree-planting programme has brought major benefits to the UAE, but the sustained efforts to ‘green the desert’ have not been without their environmental impact, the report pointed out.

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