March 11, 2019 / 11:03 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi backs incentives for agricultural technology

(Adds details from state news agency)

DUBAI, March 11 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi has approved a series of incentive packages worth 1 billion UAE dirhams ($272 million) to support agricultural technology projects, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan said on Monday.

The crown prince said in a tweet that the packages aimed “to attract global partnerships supporting research and development in agricultural technology.”

“We look forward to making Abu Dhabi a leading global centre for agricultural innovation in desert environments,” he said.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has identified cash and non-cash incentives to be made available for agricultural technology firms locally and globally. Incentives could reach up to a 75 percent rebate on research and development expenses, the state news agency WAM said.

The incentives will be available to companies focusing on precision farming and agriculture robotics, bioenergy, and indoor farming, the agency said.

The United Arab Emirates imports around 90 percent of its food needs. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Maha El Dahan and Sylvia Westall Editing by Edmund Blair/Keith Weir)

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