Abu Dhabi farmer puts his hopes for the future of UAE agriculture business
For the past 30 years, farming has been a passion for Mr.Naser Al Zaabi. This successful farmer has 33,000 square metres of farm in Al Khatem , the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi emirate.
Thanks for the Khalifa Fund’s programme Zaarie, the Abu Dhabi farmer has converted one of his farms into a hydroponics sistem. Hydroponics allows to save 80 per cent of irrigation water and gives crops for 11 months of the year.
UAE government has been giving a significant support to farmers. In fact, the late Sheikh Zayed encouraged farming and was the Founding Father.
Mr. Naser Al Zaabi farm produces tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables a year such as melons, aubergines, tomatoes, cucumbers bell peppers.
He owns another farm in Al Taweelah, off the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road, where he produces other fruits like dates, lemons and mangoes.
Al Zaabi’s vegetables farm is using the hydroponics technology, considered most suitable for U.A.E. harsh agricultural conditions, poor in water, soil and climate.
The Abu Dhabi farmer placed all his hopes in the future of the agricultural business. In fact, according to him, the tomato business alone in the UAE is worth Dh2 billion a year and all vegetables about Dh40bn a year.
He expects the UAE to become the region’s centre for the future of local produce since it is possible to produce 11 months in the year while in Europe, five to six months in some places.
UAE has one of the best climates in the world for bell peppers.
He stated that UAE Government is now helping with infrastructures, which is huge. It will take time to establish the new infrastructures but it’s a good business since farming had become more business-orientated.
The implementation of new projects will support food security in the UAE.
High quality local products are available in the market and are certified by inspectors from Spain, who regularly visit farms for hygiene, cleanliness and anything related to international standards.