Khalifa Fund to disburse funds to number of farms in Sweihan

WAM ABU DHABI, 12th February, 2014 (WAM) — An expert team from the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Service Centre completed site visits to 72 farms in Sweihan recently to ensure their compatibility with terms of funding under the terms of the Zaarie Programme, launched by the Khalifa Fund to support and enable Emiratis working in the farming sector to overcome the challenges they face.

“The work force conducted its site visits which lasted for four days where they ensured the availability of various technical conditions, such as the availability of water and its salinity as well as the availability of electricity and its convertibility to move from traditional farms into modern farms which depend on modem technology in agriculture like hydroponic methods”, said Ahmed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Manager of the Zaarie programme.

“Sweihan is a very critical area because of its unique features of being in the middle of the region and being close to the large markets of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai. Also, the farmers there show big interest in converting to hydroponic farming and to get the advantages of the Zaarie programme”, explained Al Romaithi.

“Some of the farms meet all conditions and will start the funding process immediately, and we expect to finalise the funding process by the end of March. On the other hand, there are some technical challenges that the Fund will resolve with other government entities, such as increasing the electricity supply for farms converting to hydroponic methods. We highly appreciate the prompt response and cooperation we received from Abu Dhabi Distribution Company which is part of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority,” added Al Romaithi.

“In cooperation with Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development organised an awareness session in Sweihan for more than 40 Emiratis who are interested in agriculture and who wanted to learn more about Zaarie. The programme aims to enable the farmers and improve their techniques by using modern technology in order to reduce water consumption,” explained Al Romaithi.

“The existing farms in Sweihan can benefit from the advantages of the programme. Hydroponic farming techniques will reduce the side effects of weather and soil on agriculture products. In addition to the fact that conveying this technology to farming sectors can help in reducing water consumption,” added Al Romaithi.

WAM/Esraa/Moran

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