Thursday 18 July 2024

Water scarcity ... new effort to increase access to resources

Key Abu Dhabi deal to back global food, water scarcity effort

ABU DHABI, June 12, 2024

Four major Abu Dhabi infrastructure partners have signed a collaboration agreement to support the growth of AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance (AGWA), the UAE capital’s new food and water cluster, which will play a leading role in global efforts to tackle food shortages and water scarcity, a report said.

Abu Dhabi Ports Company PJSC, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), and Masdar City will collaborate with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to create an enabling environment for AGWA cluster companies, Emirates News Agency, WAM, said.

Led by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) and Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), AGWA is set to become a global hub for novel food and ingredients, as well as for technologies that increase access to water resources and enable their efficient utilisation.

This innovative cluster is meticulously designed to support local suppliers and exporters alike, serving as a platform to maximise commercial opportunities.

The cluster aims to meet increasing global demand, alleviate pressures on agricultural systems, address shifting dietary patterns, capitalise on technological advancements, and support global food security, ensuring a reliable and resilient supply chain for food and water.

Abu Dhabi Ports Company, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, ADDC, and Masdar City bring extensive expertise across logistics, energy supply, sustainability, and business and technology facilitation. They will work with ADIO to provide essential infrastructure for AGWA cluster companies to operate efficiently and drive innovation.

By leveraging the key infrastructure partners, Abu Dhabi will be able to establish a globally recognised food and water cluster that supports pioneers to develop new innovations in alternative proteins, algae, and reverse osmosis technologies, and also enable them to enhance traditional food and water production and supply.

The emirate will also focus on strengthening the route to market by improving agricultural value along with enhancing supply chain and retail distribution.

A key focus of AGWA will be the development of frameworks to support businesses engaged in cutting-edge research, the adoption of non-traditional business models, and the production of novel food in support of the global drive to tackle shortages and scarcity.

Badr Al-Olama, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), said: “Our partnership with key infrastructure partners is crucial to aligning efforts with AGWA cluster companies to establish Abu Dhabi as a global leader in the development, commercialisation and export of transformative solutions in the food and water industry.”

Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “The launch of the AGWA Cluster reflects our commitment towards transforming the global food supply chain through leveraging technology and forging partnerships.”

Elena Sorlini, Managing Director and CEO at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: "The emirate has cultivated a dynamic ecosystem that fosters innovation, sustainability, and commerce. At Abu Dhabi Airports, through our subsidiary Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (Adafz), we are strategically positioned to drive the expansion of regional and international trade, further enhancing Abu Dhabi's global connectivity.”

Ahmed Baghoum, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar City, said: "Our free zone team in Masdar City is dedicated to providing the support and resources necessary for the success of AGWA cluster companies. We are eager to contribute to creating an environment that supports food security, water and sustainable growth in Abu Dhabi."

Saeed Al Suwaidi, ADDC Chief Executive Officer, said: “The launch of AGWA marks a significant step forward as we collaborate with our partners to set new benchmarks for innovation in food and water security. This initiative not only fosters substantial economic growth and job creation but also underscores our dedication to sustainability, technological progress, and economic diversification, building a resilient future for generations to come.”

AGWA taps into a mega AED 77.4 trillion ($21 trillion) industry with immense potential for economic growth and job creation. By 2045, AGWA is expected to contribute AED 90 billion in incremental GDP to Abu Dhabi’s economy, creating 62,000 new jobs and attracting AED 128 billion in investments.

The cluster builds on Abu Dhabi’s leadership in advanced food and water production methods, as well as its strong traditional farming base. Abu Dhabi is home to more than 24,000 farms, of which 50percent are in the Al Ain region.



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