In a bid to promote and expand the market for locally grown food products, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Aswaaq, the supermarket and mall operator owned by Investment Corporation of Dubai, to retail agricultural products grown in organic and hydroponic farms in the UAE across its chain of stores and supermarkets.
Sultan Alwan, Assistant Undersecretary of the Regions Sector at MOCCAE, and Yousef Sharaf, CEO of Aswaaq, signed the MoU, in the presence of senior officials from the two sides.
As per the MoU, Aswaaq is mandated to submit biannual local agricultural product sales reports to MOCCAE. Meanwhile, the Ministry will update Aswaaq with guidelines and educational information on hydroponic and organic products, and share best practices employed in traditional farming.
Speaking on the new partnership, Sultan Alwan said: "The Ministry is committed to achieving agricultural sustainability and enhancing food diversification through supporting local farmers. To meet this priority, we are joining forces with private sector retailers to expand the market for local products. Our agreement with Aswaaq falls within this context."
He added: "In addition to strengthening the demand for locally grown food products, the Ministry also works on a continuous basis to motivate UAE farmers to become more engaged in commercial agriculture through training them on the latest cultivation techniques and providing them with agricultural input subsidies."