The country’s largest potato grower ensures local food security and sustainability by bringing four varieties of locally-grown potatoes
30 March 2022, Abu Dhabi, UAE: Elite Agro (EAG), a leading UAE producer and distributor of fresh produce, is bringing UAE-grown, fresh-from-the-earth white and purple potatoes to the market. With their pioneering sustainable local farming methods, Elite Agro is expected to save at least 468 tons* of carbon emissions, when compared to the most common sources of imported potatoes and the carbon emissions involved in their transportation.
Potatoes are in season at EAG, the UAE’s largest local potato producer. They own and operate a 1,212-hectare farm in Nahel, Al Ain, producing up to 8,400 tons of potatoes this harvest season. Potatoes have long been considered as naturally rich in protein and fiber and are free from fat and cholesterol. As such, EAG focuses on cultivating them locally to meet the needs of the regional market.
Dr. Abdulmonem Almarzooqi, Elite Agro Executive Director and Board Member, said: “The new harvest season is a testament to our success as pioneers of sustainable farming in the UAE. We renew our commitment to support the UAE’s National Strategy for Food Security and the United Nations Development Programme Goal 2 (UNDP) by producing locally-grown, fresh potatoes our customers can trust.”
Since 2014, the farm has been home to three potato varieties, including Spunta, Naima, and Universa. This year, an all-new, highly-versatile potato variety called Sifra was planted for the first time in Nahel Farm. Distinguished for its light-coloured skin and excellent culinary qualities, Sifra is an excellent multi-purpose kitchen staple, suitable for baking, boiling, frying, mashing, and roasting. The Naima variety is also known for its quality and long shelf life. By growing four different varieties, EAG will be able to supply the UAE market with local potatoes for the next 9 months.
“We continuously endeavour to bring new varieties that increase the accessibility of locally-grown, high-quality fresh produce to the UAE market. In line with our commitment to promote local food security and sustainability, we are proud to pioneer sustainable farming practices that are beneficial to both our people and our planet,” said Ian Summerfield, Elite Agro CEO.
EAG uses eco-friendly and sustainable farming solutions at its four farms across the country to ensure optimal production, efficient use of natural resources, as well as a lower carbon footprint, to enhance the resilience of the UAE’s agriculture industry. These include fully automated planting to harvesting methods, advanced adaptive irrigation to save water, integrated pest management to protect the environment, state of the art post-harvest management to preserve quality and software management systems to reduce waste.
This season’s potatoes were planted in October 2021 and will be harvested between March and April 2022. They will be distributed through EAG’s commercial arm, Elite Agro Fresh Trading (EGFT), its own seamless end-to-end supply chain network which ensures easy access of high-quality produce that stays fresh for longer, enabled by swift farm-to-shelf deliveries.
EAG potatoes will be sold under its newly rebranded Elite Fresh brand and available at leading retailers including Spinneys, Carrefour or order online at farmbox.ae.
* Source: IMO GHG Study. Based on average figures of a typical bulk carrier by boat.