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Abu Dhabi Investment Office with a vision for turning the desert green


The vision of turning the desert green: #GrowWithAbuDhabi, could be achieved through innovation that harnesses solar power, smart irrigation and controlled environment amongst others agri-technologies.
There will be an opportunity to find out more at REAP 2021, as the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), a government agency that supports investors and companies looking to establish or expand in Abu Dhabi, will be participating in the International Cafe.
As part of a national objective to increase food security, AgTech is one of the strategic clusters identified for inward investment and ADIO is supporting innovative companies in agriculture to establish activities in Abu Dhabi through financial and non-financial incentives.
Salvatore Lavallo, Acting Head of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) at ADIO, will be participating at REAP. We asked his office about the region and its challenges. 

Q What are the big challenges facing producers in Abu Dhabi?

The challenge of food security, arid land, intense heat, and limited water supplies are the main obstacles to traditional producers in Abu Dhabi.
ADIO is supporting innovative AgTech companies applying new technologies and farming methods to tackle these issues. AgTech continues to make great strides in Abu Dhabi. The sector has advanced significantly over the course of the past two years, making it easier for AgTech companies to enter the market.

Q Where do you see the opportunities for technology solutions? 

The challenges facing the food industry are well documented. From adapting to the effects of climate change, to feeding a growing global population with dwindling resources, it is very clear that the degree of change that is required within food and agriculture systems, and the pace with which that change needs to be delivered, requires new ways of doing things.
New agriculture and renewable technologies can combine to make the desert climate ideal for agriculture. Technologies that use sun for energy and reduce water consumption will transform Abu Dhabi food production capability and reduce reliance on imported food. Our goal is to place Abu Dhabi at the forefront of these technologies and an exporter of technology to other desert countries.
ADIO is investing in the AgTech sector and is attracting international AgTech companies to establish in Abu Dhabi. As part of an USD 273M programme to develop the desert and climate solutions in Abu Dhabi, four pioneering companies have already joined the Abu Dhabi’s AgTech eco system.
Aero Farms – A global leader in transformational aerophonic framing technology, to provide local and fresh products year round.
Madar Farms – UAE founded Madar farms who are revolutionising vertical farming, to create more sustainable methods of growing food
RDI Responsive Drip Irrigation are developers of an irrigation system for plants to self regulate water delivery
RNZ will open a new R&D Centre to develop fertilizer technology.
A new AgTech Park project by ADQ aims to accelerate sustainable local food production and position the UAE as a hub to supply high growth markets across the Middle East and Africa.
Find out more at

What are your objectives for the International Café? 

We would like to talk with companies interested in exploring Abu Dhabi as a location to grow their international business. From Abu Dhabi, AgTech companies have an ideal springboard to tap into the fast growing UAE agriculture market and grow in the MEASA region, a USD 8t market of 3b people that are underserved in terms of access to AgTech solutions.

The theme of the conference is the challenges of ‘Time’ – what does that mean for ADIO and agri-tech in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi’s agricultural capacity has traditionally been severely restricted by long hot summer seasons restricting the productive capacity of traditional agricultural producers.
New controlled environment agriculture technologies have the potential to eliminate the impact of seasons of the year making year round growing a reality. Harnessing the energy of the sun to the power the controlled environment farm has the potential to make hot arid countries some of the most productive and cost efficient.

REAP 2021: Changing Time(s) for Agriculture10th November 2021

Imagine a world where agriculture is not constrained by time. The ability to manage and manipulate time is increasing and REAP 2021 will explore the advances in technology and breakthroughs in science that is making this possible.
REAP brings together people from across the agri-tech ecosystem who believe that innovation is the engine for change. The conference bridges the gap between producer needs and technology solutions and showcases exciting agri-tech start-ups.