Food technology

Emirates Development Bank signs financing agreement with Dubai Food Technology Center

The Emirates Development Bank (EDB) of the United Arab Emirates has signed an initial agreement with Food Tech Valley, to provide financing to small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups operating in the Dubai Food Tech Hub.

Under the agreement, the two parties will support technology companies operating or seeking to operate in the hub with funding, roadshows, seminars, mentorship and knowledge transfer, the EDB said Monday.

“The partnership will further strengthen the government’s vision to diversify the economy by encouraging tenants to set up their businesses in Food Tech Valley,” said Hesham Al Qassim, managing director of Wasl Asset Management Group, which is developing the project in partnership with the ministry. food and water security.

“We are confident that all partners on board will help attract local and foreign direct investment in the field to achieve the government’s mission to transform the UAE into a global hub for technology-based food and agriculture solutions. “

Food Tech Valley was launched in May last year to further develop vertical farming and other advanced agricultural technologies and enhance food security in the UAE. The center aims to triple the UAE’s food production and make the country more self-sufficient.

The size of the global AgriTech market is expected to reach $22 billion over the next four years, up from $13.5 billion currently, Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, said last year. .

The Food Hub will comprise four main clusters: AgriTech and Engineering, a Food Innovation Center, Research and Development Centers and an Advanced Smart Food Logistics Hub.

Food Tech Valley’s goal is to attract and support new agricultural technologies, connecting global and local knowledge in the field, while establishing a collaborative network to export knowledge towards a sustainable food system.

The partnership between EDB and Food Tech Valley is part of the lender’s efforts to support economic diversification and aligns with the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 to implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity, said Ahmed Al Naqbi, managing director of EDB.

“Through this agreement, we aim to provide value-added financial support to start-ups, SMEs and international companies, and we look forward to forging new partnerships with emerging companies in such a vital sector”, a- he declared.

The agreement also supports EDB’s strategy to “boost the industrial development of the UAE, accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies in the industrial base and foster the growth of SMEs” in priority areas, including food security. , he added.

To achieve these goals, EDB will facilitate direct and indirect loans, totaling MAD 30 billion, to more than 13,500 companies by 2026, as part of the strategy launched in March 2021.

Updated: April 25, 2022, 12:16 p.m.