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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Abu Dhabi farms go organic in push for chemical-free farming

The Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Centre aims to convert 20 farms a year over the next four years for organic agriculture

The Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Centre is encouraging farms in the capital to go organic. Reem Mohammed / The National
The Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Centre is encouraging farms in the capital to go organic. Reem Mohammed / The National

Twenty-five farms in Abu Dhabi will adopt organic practices as part of a push towards chemical-free farming.

The Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Centre signed agreements with the farms on Wednesday. Their goal is to convert 100 farms, at a rate of 20 per year, for organic agriculture over the next four years.

The centre will support farmers by promoting the benefits of organic farming, encouraging them to use organic pesticides and use sustainable farming concepts.

As an incentive, the centre announced plans to introduce the "Model Farm's" organic products in local markets to encourage consumers to buy organic produce.

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Farmers will be taught how to make the swap to organic farming at the centre's model organic farm in Al Dhafra.

Farms that adopt organic farming practices will have their produce certified for one year at a time by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology.

Nasser Al Junaibi, acting chief executive of the centre, said the shift to organic farming comes as part of sustainability efforts to conserve soil, water and natural resources as well as to produce clean and chemical-free food.

"We aim at providing theoretical and practical programmes for farmers to encourage them to switch from traditional to organic agriculture through workshops, lectures and some support programmes, such as paying organic certification fees on their behalf, obtaining organic certification from the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, in addition to providing the requirements of organic agriculture at competitive prices through the centers selling agricultural inputs of the centre", he said.