SCAD commended the full cooperation of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority in the provision of the data on which the report is based.
As SCAD’s bulletin reveals, there were 24.394 plant holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2011, marking an increase of 0.4 per cent compared with 2010. The combined area of the Emirate’s plant holdings totalled 752.839 donums, representing approximately 1 per cent of the total area of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to 2010. The average area per holding is 31 donums.
According to SCAD, most of the agricultural holdings are located in Al Ain area, which is home to 11,985 agricultural holdings with a total area of 446.898 donums, representing 59 per cent of the total area of agricultural holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. There were 8,572 holdings (210.458 donums) in Al Gharbia and 3.837 holdings (95.483 donums) in Abu Dhabi region, constituting 28 percent and 13 percent of the total area of agricultural holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, respectively.
Holdings ranging in area between 20-29 donums account for the largest proportion (80 percent) of total holdings area in Abu Dhabi Emirate, followed by the category of holdings with a smaller area than 20 donums, which makes up 10 percent of total plant area and 1.3 of total holdings area in the Emirate.
The bulk (72 percent) of plant area in Al Ain region fell within the category of 30-39 donums, which also accounts for 43 percent of the aggregated area of plant holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, followed by holdings with an area in excess of 60 donums, the combined area of which constitutes 16 percent of the total number of the area of agricultural holdings in Al Ain region and 9.5 percent of the area of plant holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
In Al Gharbia, 47 percent of agricultural area the region and 13 percent of the total area of holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was found to fall within the area category of 40-49 donums, followed by the 20-39 donums category, which makes up 24 percent of the total area of plant holdings in Al Gharbia region and 7 percent of the total area of plant holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
SCAD’s report also classifies plant holdings by the type land use, which gives the actual cultivable areas of holdings and their distribution by use as per the internationally recommended classifications.
The report reveals that out of 752,839 donums representing the total area of plant holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, 39 percent was cultivated with fruit trees, of which date palm made 98 percent and other types fruit trees the remaining 2 percent. This reflects the importance of dates as a food crop and the favourable conditions prevailing in the Emirate for date palm cultivars. The 2011 dates crop was 76.980 tons, an increase of 5.6% compared to 2010.
The area of plant holdings cultivated with field corps amounted to 24 per cent of the total area of plant holdings in Abu Dhabi Emirate. Rhodes (cultivated as a forage grass) accounted of 94 percent of the total acreage of field crops in 2011 and alfalfa 4 percent, while barley, dry corn and other crops were grown on the remaining 2 percent of the total area cultivated with field crops in 2011.
The 2011 field crops production is estimated at 1,503,841 tons, the bulk of which was Rhodes and alfalfa.
In 2011, the area grown with vegetables represented 2 percent of the total area of plant holdings in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, of which 1.4 percent was grown on open ground and 0.6 percent in greenhouses. Tomatoes occupied 53 percent of the total area cultivated with vegetables, followed by onion (18 percent), cucumber (8 percent) and other vegetable crops (21 percent).
The quantity of vegetables supplied to the produce distribution centres in 2011 was 36,029.9 tons of various crops, of which tomatoes accounted for 85 percent.
Afforested areas cover 3.4 percent of the area of plant holdings. Some 18.5 percent of the land is fallowed in order for the land to regain its fertility, 9.6 percent of the area is unexploited, while 1.5 percent of the total area of holdings in 2011 was uncultivable.
In 2011, there were 24394 plant holdings with an aggregated area of 752,839 donums and an average area of 31 donums per holding, with 47 percent of the plant holdings falling within the area category of 30-39 donums 1.7 of the holding having an area in excess of 60 donums.
Holdings smaller than 30 donums in area accounted for 26 percent of the total area of holdings, i.e. the remaining 74 percent of the total area came from holdings of area larger than 30 donums. Accordingly, smaller holdings are fewer and account for a smaller combined area than larger holdings.
The area of the operating agricultural holding in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi totalled 704,761 donums, down 0.2 percent compared with 2010. Most of the holdings are located in Al Ain region, which is home to 61 percent of the total are of active holdings in the Emirate, followed by Al Gharbia region (27 percent) and Abu Dhabi region (12 percent).
The Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi reaffirmed its commitment to provide adequate agricultural statistics, which are deemed to be basis on which plans are built to develop the agricultural sector. This requires accurate and reliable statistical data that helps decision makers and policy planner to make sound decisions based on a proper scientific planning in all areas, including production, marketing and consumption.
The agricultural sector is one of the productive sectors of the economy, representing the main economic activity of a large number of holders, in addition to being an important source of food commodities and a potential source of primary materials for several manufacturing industries that can be set up Emirate of Abu Dhabi to broaden the contribution of this sector to the GDP and support the Emirate’s food security status.
A host of challenges confront this sector this sector, including scarce water supplies and high prices of production inputs.
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