UAE agriculture plays vital role in economic growth

Agricultural achievements in the United Arab Emirates are among the most significant and commendable feats of the country.

By Moushumi Das Chaudhury

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Published: Tue 9 Aug 2005, 10:30 AM

Last updated: Wed 23 Nov 2022, 4:00 PM

According to a report, agriculture accounts for approximately four per cent of the UAE's GDP and agriculture production, including fisheries, livestock contribute more than Dh9 billion in the economy of the country.

The UAE economy continues to grow rapidly due to high oil prices and due to success of other sectors including manufacturing, real estate and tourism.

Agriculture also plays an important role in the economic growth of the country and this is primarily attributed to the climatic and ecological formation of the country. It is a landmark achievement as it helped the UAE to counter the harsh weather, scarcity of water and rainfall and turn the desert into a fertile soil that produces thousands of tons of fruit, vegetables and flowers for export around the world.

According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, only agriculture production stands at more than Dh2 billion per year. An average crop season yields more than 600,000 tons of crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, lettuce, cabbage and animal feed. At present, UAE exports its vegetable and fruit products to Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and many other countries.

Surely, the UAE owes this great achievement to the strong determination and far-sightedness of the late President His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who emphasised the importance of agriculture and invested generously in the project.

According to a report, despite the climatic conditions, UAE's cultivated areas now extended to more than 2.7 million donums (891.089 acres) and the country is self-sufficient in dates, dairy products and fish.

The UAE farms also produce flowers and roses, which it exports to other AGCC countries, UK, Australia, Lebanon, and Japan. A flower farm set up by the government in Suweihan, in the heart of the desert produces huge amount of flowers annually and contributes significantly to economy by earning foreign exchange.

The country has recorded increasing production of 30 types of barley, wheat and fodder, which are harvested 14 times a year.

According to latest statistics available, the number of date-palm trees in the emirate of Abu Dhabi reached around 33.8 million, including 18.8 million trees in Abu Dhabi city and its suburbs. Al Ain has more than 15 million palm trees, while the Western and Eastern regions of Abu Dhabi palm trees reached more than 6 million. The Northern Emirates have over 7 million palm trees.

As a result, the UAE has occupied a prestigious position on the world's map, in terms of date-palm cultivation and dates production. The number of date-palm trees has reached more than 40.1 million.

The UAE's spectacular progress in developing the cultivation of palms has increased their number to 20 per cent of date-palms in the world by producing more than 250,000 tons of high -quality dates, making the country one of the largest date producers and processors in the world.

The government has also set up model farms in vast areas of the desert, which have now been transformed into a green forest with more than half-a-million trees.

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