In a bid to achieve food security in developing countries and eradicate global poverty, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, has allocated nearly AED3.2 billion towards development projects in the agricultural and irrigation sectors.
Representing 7 per cent of the total financial assistance contributed by the Fund in supporting developing countries to date, this assistance has allowed several developing countries across the world to fulfil their sustainable development objectives as 40 per cent of the world’s population relies on agriculture for its livelihood.
In its report marking Arab Agriculture Day, which is commemorated on 27 December every year, ADFD highlighted that the agricultural sector, which is closely associated with the growth of many other vital sectors such as health, education and environment, is one of the priority sectors identified by the United Nations towards achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Through supporting the agricultural sector, ADFD plays an important role in achieving food security that is the cornerstone of building successful economies, ensuring wide-spread social and economic development and generating additional revenues for the beneficiary countries from food and agricultural exports.
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “ADFD has placed great importance on the agricultural sector since its inception more than four-and-a-half decades ago. Our funding efforts in this regard are focused on projects that significantly improve people’s livelihood and fulfil their daily needs in terms of food and water, allowing us to eradicate poverty and create jobs for the population in developing world.”
Al Suwaidi added: “The importance given to agricultural projects allows us to create safe and prosperous societies capable of achieving development in other sectors. As part of this priority, we need to step up concerted global efforts to develop more agricultural projects, reclaiming vast expanses of agricultural land and improving our irrigation systems. Doing so will allow us to support farmers and achieve food security for developing countries.”
To date, ADFD has funded more than 20 projects in the agricultural and irrigation sectors that have touched the lives of millions of people across the developing world. Furthermore, it has actively contributed to the expansion of large swathes of agricultural land, provided effective irrigation systems, and implemented several rehabilitation programmes that benefit a growing number of farmers. Notable among the projects funded by ADFD in the agricultural sector are the south valley development project in Egypt, integrated development of south rift valley in Jordan, irrigation system development in Western Morocco and the rural development project in Tunisia.
The international community seeks to assist developing countries in meeting the basic food needs of their population. In order for countries to achieve food security, they need to boost their food production by prioritizing the agricultural sector in economic and social development programmes. Additionally, the development of effective agricultural policies, utilisation of latest technologies in the investment process, and increased agricultural investment are imperative for augmenting agricultural production.