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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

EDB launches $27.2m AgriTech loan to boost food security in UAE


The UAE Development Bank (EDB) today unveiled the UAE’s first agritech loan scheme, which will allocate AED100 million to finance the country’s vital food security sector.

The new agtech loan scheme aims to achieve a sustainable and prosperous national agricultural sector, positioning the UAE as a global leader in agricultural innovation. With a vision to enhance food security, EDB’s new products aim to empower farms, local growers and food suppliers by supporting their adaptation and modernization efforts.

Ahmed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, said: “We understand that food security in the UAE is critical to the long-term health and well-being of its people. As the UAE’s development bank, our priority is to transform the country into a local Regional center of food production.

“Using our competitive and accessible financing solutions, we aim to contribute to the realization of this strategic vision by facilitating the adoption of advanced technologies and cutting-edge solutions.”

The UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 aims to position the UAE at the top of the global food security index by 2051. The strategy outlines plans for an integrated national system to achieve sustainable food production through the use of modern technologies while enhancing local production.

Recognizing the need to adopt cutting-edge technology, the Agricultural Technology Loan Program addresses the challenges facing agriculture and promotes its growth.

With this initiative, EDB aims to help provide innovative solutions to agricultural operations and optimize yields. The financial support provided will facilitate the implementation of precision farming techniques, state-of-the-art irrigation systems and advanced crop monitoring tools, driving more sustainable practices and increasing productivity in the sector.

Target customers for AgriTech’s specific financing products include farmers, local producers, technology providers, equipment suppliers and those involved in the agriculture support ecosystem.

The program offers greenfield and brownfield project financing, capital expenditure and working capital financing, and up to AED 5 million in interim loans or working capital at competitive rates for maturities of up to 10 years.

EDB’s AgriTech financing scheme also offers a grace period of up to 2.5 years. The program has a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of up to 90%. This feature is designed to provide greater financial flexibility and support to borrowers in the agricultural technology sector, facilitating the rapid adoption of transformative technologies.

Al Naqbi added: “EDB’s commitment to empowering farming communities is in line with the UAE’s national agenda, which prioritizes achieving food self-sufficiency and reducing dependence on imports. By facilitating collaboration between financial institutions and the agricultural sector, The EDB aims to foster growth in domestic food production, enhance supply chain resilience, and contribute to the country’s economic development.”

Continuing with its mission to promote a healthy, sustainable and self-reliant economy in line with government priorities, the EDB was tasked with approving Dh30 billion for 13,500 companies in its five priority sectors (food safety, renewable energy, manufacturing) Ram’s financial support, technology and healthcare – to 2026.


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