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ADDED identifies investment across basic food industries

‘Basic Industries’ project

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Abu Dhabi — The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, ADDED, has identified eight new areas for investment within food industries in line with the ‘Basic Industries’ project currently being implemented by ADDED’s Industrial Development Bureau, IDB. The eight new investment areas cover the manufacturing of 18 basic food products which are key targets under the National Food Security Strategy 2051.

The IDB announced that these new areas for investment include the use of air-intake technology for food product preservation; the processing of dates for protein, baker’s yeast and baby food production; dried fruits, vegetables and meat-related industries; chromone production for treating palm trees weevils; seed production and processing; and production of animal food from food waste.

Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED, explained that the ‘Basic Industries’ project prioritizes the food industry, considering it an important and strategic factor in achieving self-sufficiency. He added that the Department is working in close collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, ADAFSA, to support existing industrial food investments and create new opportunities for investment in the agricultural sector.

Al Shorafa revealed that the number of licenses issued to food manufacturing companies in Abu Dhabi has reached 127, with a total investment value of AED 7.8 billion. Of the 127, 38 are ‘Industry Pioneers’ licenses, with an investment value worth AED 1.04 billion; 26 are licenses with the ‘Under Construction’ status, with AED 1.18 billion investment value; and 63 are licenses with ‘Production’ status, with an investment value worth AED 5.5 billion. He also noted that around 25 factories of those holding a license with ‘Production’ status manufacture 12 basic food products included in the National Food Security Strategy 2051.

Al Shorafa noted that these new areas for investment in agricultural-related industries are one step closer to achieving the local economy’s quest for self-sufficiency in various vital non-oil sectors such as food, medical, and energy production industries, among others. The move further supports the emirate’s sufficiency across highly consumed products and commodities.

Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said that the Department has been working closely with its strategic partners from relevant government entities to provide the local market with high-quality national products through the ‘Basic Industries’ project and provide all the necessary support for existing and potential investments. He highlighted that this is in line with the Abu Dhabi Government’s directives to achieve food security and self-sufficiency while also doubling the production capacity, especially in times of crisis and challenges.

“ADDED is working in partnership with ADAFSA to implement the ‘Basic Industries’ project as part of our commitment to achieve sustainability within the various sectors of the emirate. The food sector, which is one of the vital sectors, has doubled its importance amidst the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak, especially during the implementation of preventive measures which led to the temporary suspension of several economic activities in the UAE,” Al Blooshi added.

He cited that the current efforts are part of the Abu Dhabi Government’s goals to meet the needs of the emirate and maintain sufficiency in the event of any international or regional crisis that could lead to the closure of borders between countries, and thereby disrupting trade. He mentioned that ADDED has been working in coordination with other concerned parties to help meet the self-sufficiency targets by identifying what are the essential food products in demand as well as assessing the current gaps in terms of the availability of local products and commodities.

Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director-General of ADAFSA, stated that Abu Dhabi has a solid and well-developed industrial base. Food industries, due to their strong contribution to meeting food security through the production of essential food and beverages, are at the forefront of the manufacturing sector and enjoy strong support from of the emirate’s wise leadership.

Al Ameri said that the food industry serves as a key driver for the agricultural sector’s further development by adding value to local production; improving agricultural economic return; and making the most of the benefits gained from agricultural plant and animal production.

Al Ameri added that Abu Dhabi’s growth in the agricultural sector paves the way for new opportunities that would attract more investments to the food industry and increase the number of high-tech food projects which can capitalize on the use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to ensure an increase in the production and achieve food market stability in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

He mentioned that the eight new industrial areas identified for investment include vital activities that support the emirate’s strategic vision towards attaining a successfully integrated non-oil economic sectors, adding that food industries and logistical services serving international food companies in Abu Dhabi are also key factors in achieving sustainability in the supply chains.

Al Ameri commended the cooperation between ADAFSA and ADDED, saying that it will help promote sustainable economic development, especially in areas of food-related production, industry, and trade. He highlighted that ADAFSA’s partnerships with various public and private entities can help factories and supply chains to work together to meet current and future food needs.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office, ADIO, and IDB are collaborating with several government entities, including ADAFSA, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, DoE, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, DoH, and the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA, to explore the potential areas for investment within the basic and vital sectors that would help achieve self-sufficiency and provide the local market with sufficient quantities of high-quality products.

IDB has also identified 11 different areas for further industrial development, which include canning, packaging, and drying of agricultural products in local farms; establishing a new factory for the production of chilled and vacuum-packed meat as well as frozen meat coming from cows, sheep, poultry in specialized slaughterhouses; setting up of an industrial complex such as slaughterhouses and factories for meat production, animal feed, and milk and dairy products. It is also looking into producing sugar from dates, along with recycled products from slaughterhouses’ animal waste, organic fertilizers; food pickling and salt, sugar and vinegar preserved food products; producing, processing, preserving, and canning fish and seafood; and oil production.-WAM

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