The Abu Dhabi Government has started a Dh1 billion (US$272 million) programme to back the creation of agricultural technology companies in the emirate, as part of the Ghadan 21 three-year stimulus package, launched last year.

The AgTech drive is part of an accelerator programme to set up the UAE’s capital as a global centre for agricultural transformation in desert environments. The project is headed by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), established last year to encourage foreign investment.

Companies involved in research and development may be eligible for tax rebates of up to 75% of the total R and D costs, subject to “availability and commercial conditions”, ADIO stated.

According to Elham Al Qasim, acting chief executive of ADIO, the investment office aims to develop clear and specific investment chances for domestic and foreign financers oriented with Abu Dhabi’s economic preferences.

These can be in the form of public-private-partnerships, or sector incentives like the AgTech package, which will develop an active AgTech ecosystem and encourage the agricultural industry of Abu Dhabi.

Under the programme, the government will provide a series of cash and non-cash incentives to make it easier for local and global AgTech companies to establish and extend their operations in the coming years.

Apart from the favourable AgTech packages on offer, Abu Dhabi also provides numerous advantages to businesses and innovators including globally competitive tax rates, the ability to handle high-volume commodities, world-class infrastructure, favourable tariff structures and inexpensive energy sources.

The packages will be given to local and international companies that create technologies to back precision farming, agriculture robotics, bioenergy and indoor farming.

These sectors, needing large land areas, natural heat and enough light, are specifically helped by Abu Dhabi’s climate and environment.

The packages would benefit the UAE and other countries across the globe facing arid conditions. – Press release