x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Interest free loans for UAE farmers

A new programme helping farmers has been established by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

Interest-free loans of up to Dh1?million will be offered to farmers as part of a support programme established by the
Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

Farmers with plots of land up to 2,000 square metres will be eligible for the loans and they will be given as much as two years’ grace before they need to repay. A flexible repayment schedule will be offered spanning up to 60 months.

The programme, Ziraai, will also train farmers and encourage them to switch to hydroponic systems that can be as much as 80 per cent more water-efficient.

It will also provide marketing services and train farmers to market their own produce to cooperative societies and shopping centres that have signed agreements with the fund.

“This programme aims to cultivate growth in the agricultural sector by helping our farmers to improve the marketability, profitability and efficiency of their farms through cutting-edge technology, for instance by switching to innovative methods that reduce water consumption,” said Jassim Al Nowais, the chairman of the Khalifa Fund.

Ziraai was set up under the guidance of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and is being implemented in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre.

vtodorova@thenational.ae