ADAFSA issues decision regulating agricultural-related activities

In support of the regulations issued by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, ADAFSA, Saeed Al Bahri Alameri, Director General of ADAFSA, has issued a decision regulating the practice of agricultural activities, both plant and animal, on farms benefitting from programmes to enhance agricultural sustainability (Financial Support Programme).
The decision set conditions for producing plant and animal products, allowing farmers to undertake the two activities in case they fulfilled the conditions. It also indicated the importance of obtaining a no-objection certificate from ADAFSA to undertake any other agricultural activity not mentioned in the decision.

For plant production, the decision stated that farms benefitting from the financial support programme should cultivate the following plants in 25 percent of farm area: palm trees (a palm tree per 100 square metres, sq.m), fruit trees (a fruit tree per 40 sq.m), vegetables in greenhouses (net, plastic or glass), in not less than 10 percent of the farm total area (each donum in greenhouses is equivalent to 2.5 donums of farm area), or planting vegetables in open fields in two growing seasons (summer and winter), provided that the cultivated area should not be less than 25 percent of farm area throughout the season.According to the decision, farm owners can undertake all these activities if the cultivated area is not less than 25 percent of the farm throughout summer and winter growing seasons.

Furthermore, the decision allowed farm owners to grow forage crops, except on farms being irrigated with treated sewage water, including possessing identified and registered animals by the ADAFSA, benefitting from the feed support programme. Forage crops should be cultivated in 20 percent of the farm total area, at a maximum of eight donums. For farm owners who do not possess identified and registered animals, and who do not benefit from the feed support programme, they can cultivate forage crops in 40 percent of the farm total area, at a maximum of 10 donums.

Regarding conditions for practising animal-related activities, the decision required farm owners benefitting from the financial support programme and those who could not plant their farms for reasons beyond their control, such as water depletion, water salinity exceeding 10,000 ppm, or any other natural obstacles, to undertake one or more of animal production activities, including breeding sheep, cows, camels, poultry or fish.
The decision specified that a minimum number of animals that should be raised in these farms, such as a minimum of 100 heads in sheep farms, 20 heads in camel or cow farms, 2,000 chickens in open-poultry farms, and 50,000 chickens over seven production cycles per year in closed poultry farms. As for fish farms, the minimum quantity of production should not be less than five tonnes of fish species specified by the ADAFSA annually.The ADAFSA affirmed that regulating activities of the agricultural sector, both plant and animal sub-sectors, contribute to promoting sustainable agricultural development and optimal utilisation of natural resources. This also ensures a farmer’s compliance with biosecurity and food safety requirements and legislations, thus fostering the contribution of local farms to food and biosecurity systems, and producing safe and high-quality agricultural products.

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