Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has signed a cooperation agreement with Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, to accelerate the development and adoption of groundbreaking technologies in agriculture, food safety, food security and biosecurity.
The partnership will bring together stakeholders operating in the AgTech industry to work in a collaborative environment and enable and support startups in the field of agricultural technology to innovate in the sector.
The agreement was signed by Dr Mariam Harib AlSuwaidi, Deputy Director General of Operational Affairs at ADAFSA, and Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Hub71.
Under the agreement, ADAFSA and Hub71 will work to address the challenges faced by the AgTech sector by connecting businesses with startups offering technology-based solutions.
Startups will also have the opportunity to engage with experts through a mentorship programme driven by sector experts. Hub71 and ADAFSA will also collaborate to build a strong network of AgTech stakeholders across business, academia, and government to promote partnerships and support startup innovations.
The UAE leads the Middle East and North Africa in the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) for 2022, ranking 23rd in the GFSI overall rank, up 12 places from 2021, as it ranked 31st in food affordability, 7th in food availability, 16th in food safety and quality, 53rd in sustainability and adaptation sub-indicators. The National Food Security Strategy aims to develop a comprehensive national system to enable sustainable food production and achieve the top position in the global food security index by 2051.
His Excellency Saeed Al Ameri said: “We are delighted to be working with Hub71 to attract international AgriTech companies to operate out of Abu Dhabi and promote innovative agricultural solutions to support food security and our ambition to achieve first place in the Food Security Index by 2051.”
His Excellency noted that Hub71 is one of the key initiatives of Ghadan 21, Abu Dhabi’s accelerator programme established to stimulate the emirate’s development as a diverse centre of innovavtion. The partnership will consolidate the emirate’s position as a global destination for agricultural technologies in desert environments and innovations to address the challenges of soil, water and climate change. Moreover, international businesses and innovative thinkers also have the chance to profit from the programmes and incentives provided by the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
According to His Excellency, the use of contemporary agricultural technology is consistent with the sustainability principles upheld by the governments of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, as it offers practical solutions to address the challenges posed by climate change while rationalising the use of natural resources and raising productivity and supply chain efficiency.
The agreement is a strategic step to support innovation along the value chain from producer to consumer and to promote sustainable food security.
Ahmad Ali Alwan said: “The agreement with ADAFSA will enable Hub71 to unlock new resources and help innovative AgTech startups to build and sustain innovative technologies that can future-proof the agriculture sector. As Abu Dhabi solidifies its commitment to sustainability and a greener tomorrow, AgTech startups have a vital role to play in delivering solutions that protect food supply against ecological challenges, reduce emissions and drive sustainable practices from the UAE capital.”
Hub71 will source and select leading AgTech startups from around the world and provide them with access to the ecosystem’s company building program, as well as access to ADAFSA’s state-of-the-art research laboratories and ADAFSA-funded infrastructure across Abu Dhabi, facilitating their contribution to advancing biosecurity systems and improving food quality and safety.
Hub71 and ADAFSA will bridge government and AgTech sectors in the pursuit of building a larger shared ecosystem for sustainable innovation from the emirate while bringing stakeholders together in a collaborative environment to engage and transact.
Through the partnership, startups will gain access to the wider Abu Dhabi ecosystem and gain the opportunity to work closely with global tech companies, government bodies and investors to develop advanced AgTech innovations.
Founders will also benefit from access to Hub71 programmes including the incentive programme, and Ventures Lab, as well as benefit from engagement platforms and events such as Hub71’s Fundraising Roadshow and Demo Days.