Wednesday 12/06/2024 07:12:00 AM

Regulators unite in support of AGWA

– AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance (AGWA), Abu Dhabi’s newly launched food and water cluster, has announced that key stakeholders across Abu Dhabi Government have agreed to work towards creating a regulatory environment that can accelerate Abu Dhabi’s ambition to become a leading global food and water hub that can tackle worldwide food shortages and water security.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), and the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (ADQCC) will collaborate to build regulatory frameworks and support mechanisms that enable more efficient and effective solutions in agriculture, food and water. The establishment of robust regulations will attract innovative solutions to the cluster.
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 and enable the efficient utilisation of water resources. 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.
By leveraging the regulatory environment and efficient licensing to ensure safe and secure production, AGWA will support pioneers in the food and water industry to launch new innovations in alternative proteins, algae and reverse osmosis technologies, and also enable them to enhance traditional food and water production and supply.
Badr Al-Olama, Director General at the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), said: “As Abu Dhabi forges ahead to become a global food and water powerhouse through AGWA, it is essential that our regulatory environment matches our aspirations. Through cross-disciplinary collaboration, we will identify ways to create the optimal environment for innovators in Abu Dhabi.”
On the occasion of the launch of AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance (AGWA) in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Helal Humaid Al Kaabi, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, said, "We welcome this ambitious initiative aimed at addressing global food and water security challenges.”
“As the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, we look forward to playing a leading role in enhancing quality standards and sustainable performance in the food and water sectors," he added.
“This innovative group will provide a platform for local and international companies to develop innovative solutions, which will contribute to enhancing food and water security at the global level," he explained. “The close cooperation between AGWA and the main governmental and regulatory bodies will ensure the application of best practices and the highest standards in the fields of food and water. We look forward to AGWA benefiting from the expertise of prestigious academic institutions to promote innovation in these vital sectors," Dr. Helal affirmed.
“As the overseeing and regulatory body for the quality of products and services in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (ADQCC) will provide full support and assistance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals at the global level," he pledged.
Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA, affirmed that AGWA Cluster is a strategic initiative and business incubator to support innovation in agriculture, food production, and water solutions, aiming to attract and encourage companies and innovators to invest in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
"We are pleased to be part of this ambitious initiative to enhance food security, support sustainability in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and we will collaborate with all partners to provide the necessary regulatory support and establish effective operational frameworks to help establish new companies, market their products, and provide appropriate incentives to ensure the success of the cluster and achieve its objectives," he added.
AGWA taps into a mega AED 77.4 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, create 62,000 new jobs, and attract AED 128 billion in investments.
AGWA builds on Abu Dhabi’s leadership in advanced food and water production methods and leverages its strong traditional farming base. Abu Dhabi is home to more than 24,000 farms, of which 50 percent are in the Al Ain region.
Over recent years, ADIO has partnered with many innovative food and water companies with an aim to develop solutions for desert and arid climates.
AGWA represents the next phase of Abu Dhabi’s growth strategy, which focuses investment and resources into key economic clusters of the future. It follows the 2023 launch of the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industries (SAVI) cluster that aims to position Abu Dhabi at the forefront of future mobility solutions across air, land and sea.