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Abu Dhabi offers incentives on precision farming, indoor farming initiatives

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The packages will be awarded to local and international companies that develop technologies to support precision farming and agriculture robotics, bioenergy and indoor farming.

The “AgTech” initiative is part of an accelerator programme to establish the UAE’s capital as a global centre for agricultural innovation in desert environments. The project is being led by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), which was set up last year to drive foreign investment. It was formalized under a law enacted in January.

ADIO has identified cash and non-cash incentives to be made available for agricultural technology firms locally and globally. Incentives could reach up to a 75 percent rebate on research and development expenses.

Last year, U.S.-based Plenty Inc., a vertical-farming startup, began building a 200,000 sq. ft. indoor farm in the UAE. It will open in phases, and will provide locally-grown produce, including kale and other leafy greens, to communities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Plenty says its indoor technology is more efficient than traditional operations and well suited to harsh climates. Meanwhile, agriculture technology company Crop One Holdings and Emirates Flight Catering started construction of a 130,000 sq. ft. indoor farming facility in Dubai last year. The $40 million joint venture will produce three tons of leafy greens, harvested daily, using 99 per cent less water than outdoor fields.


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