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Abu Dhabi Farmer's Services Centre to convert 100 farms to organic agriculture

By Wam

As part of its responsibility to support sustainable agriculture, preserve natural resources and provide markets with healthy, safe and high quality products, Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Centre, ADFSC, has signed agreements with 25 farms in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to convert them from traditional to organic agriculture. The centre seeks to convert about 100 farms for organic agriculture over the next four years.

The ADFSC plans to convert about 20 farms per year from traditional agriculture to organic farming under an agreement with farmers wishing to adopt organic farming, with a view to support sustainable farming concepts, promote the benefits of organic farming, and encourage farmers to apply organic pesticides and biological control systems to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture, whether fertilisers or pesticides.

In a related context, the ADFSC revealed a plan to introduce the Model Farm’s organic products in local markets soon, to encourage consumers to consume organic products. The ADFSC’s model organic farm in Dhafra area serves as a platform to educate farmers on the ways of shifting to organic agriculture, and the benefits of this safe and sustainable agricultural pattern.

The ADFSC obtained an organic products certification for 30 varieties of the model farm vegetables from the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology for one year. The certification will help the ADFSC to dedicate part of the model farm for organic agriculture, to serve as a model to guide farmers to the most optimal methods in organic farming.

Organic agriculture aims to protect the environment, preserve human health, produce clean, chemical-free food, and minimise the use of such materials. Organic agricultural inputs help maintain the soil ecosystem and create favourable conditions for plant growth.

"The ADFSC’s interest in encouraging the shift from traditional to organic agriculture is consistent with sustainability strategy, environmental protection, conservation of soil and water natural resources, as well as the production of clean and chemical-free food" said Nasser Mohammed Al-Junaibi, Acting CEO of the ADFSC.

He added that Abu Dhabi's government is keen to switch to clean farming systems to achieve the happiness and welfare of the community by providing consumers with healthy, safe and pesticide-free products.

"We aim at providing theoretical and practical programmes for farmers to encourage them to switch from traditional to organic agriculture, through workshops, lectures and some support programmes, such as paying organic certification fees on their behalf, obtaining organic certification from the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, in addition to providing the requirements of organic agriculture at competitive prices through the centers selling agricultural inputs of the Centre", Al-Junaibi added.