Silal, Abu Dhabi’s new fresh food and agritech company, is investing AED 200 million to upgrade 80 local farms in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The announcement was made by the company on the sidelines of the first edition of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Security Week, in which Silal is the Associate sponsor. The investment is part of Silal’s efforts to increase production volume and quality, improve technology adoption across local farms, promote sustainable agricultural practices, and contribute to the national agritech strategy.
Under this programme, Silal will provide 80 farms with a new 1 Ha (hectare) greenhouse or nethouse facilities, fitted with smart irrigation and crop monitoring systems, that will help Silal double the yield, ensure better quality produce and more sustainable farming practices. Silal will work with farmers to define crop plans that maximise farms’ profitability and will provide training to farmers on operational best practices.
His Excellency, Eng. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO of Silal said: “As our beloved nation approaches its 50th anniversary, we pledge to contribute to bolstering the UAE’s agricultural sector through adopting the latest sustainable agritech solutions and uplifting local farmers’ capabilities and improving their resources and skills. This is in line with the Seventh Principle of ‘The Principles of the 50’, which stresses on the importance of digital, technical and scientific excellence in defining the country’s development, and consolidating its position as a global hub for talent, companies and investments. At Silal, we launched this programme to increase local production and quality from the 80 selected farms. The aim is to increase technology adoption across these farms, ensuring their full transformation from basic to well-developed commercial farms and improving farmer livelihoods.”
The two-phase upgrade will commence over the course of two years (2021-2022). 40 farmes have been selected for the first phase of upgrades commencing in 2021. The upgraded farms will be a showcase for the potential of agritech solutions in the UAE and the potential to produce import-quality fresh produce locally. In the coming years, Silal plans to upgrade additional groups of farms to expand the programme and increase technology adoption in the UAE.
Silal will operate these farms and ensure the transfer of knowledge to the farmers by offering various trainings around best practices in agriculture and the use of technology to increase yield and reduce operating costs – to further develop their skills and capabilities.