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Emirates Development Bank underlines commitment to UAE food security at 5th Future Food Forum

Emirates Development Bank (EDB) participates in the fifth annual Future Food Forum, underlining its commitment to the UAE’s food security.

Taking place in Dubai from September 20 to 21, 2023The forum brings together key regional and international food industry players to underpin the sustainable future of the MENA region’s food sector.

Food security is one of the BED’s five priority sectors that plays a vital role in strengthening the UAE’s national development and economic diversification plans. The Bank provides significant financial support and customized solutions to improve technology-driven local food production. EDB recently launched an AgriTech lending program dedicated to driving much-needed capital into the agricultural industry. The program aims to provide vital support, in the form of long-term concessional loans of up to AED 5 million and a tenor of 10 years, to local producers, farmers, agribusinesses and food-related projects.

Ahmed Al Naqbi, CEO of the Emirates Development Bank, saying,

“As the UAE’s development bank and a key financial driver for national economic development, food security is at the top of our agenda. We aim to support the objectives of the UAE National Food Security Strategy 2051 through value-added financial support to businesses, tailored agritech loans, and building partnerships with startups and key stakeholders. Our efforts reflect our commitment to promoting domestic agricultural industries and food production capabilities, enabling the UAE to be a regional leader in both sectors.

“The Future Food Forum is an ideal platform to present our flexible financing offers to the right audience. We are also interested in learning more about current and future issues facing the food safety sector and calling for greater collaboration between government stakeholders, local manufacturers and value-added resellers, something vital for an ecosystem sustainable food”.

To continue supporting the UAE National Food Security Strategy 2051 and drive the adoption of advanced technology and cutting-edge agricultural techniques. EDB has several associations. These include the partnership with the United Arab Emirates. Ministry of Economy ‘s Entrepreneurial Nation, to support the Smart Farming Global Innovation Challenge, an initiative that seeks to optimize the digitalization of agriculture for companies based in the UAE and globally.

Besides, EDB has signed an agreement with Food Tech Valley Provide financial solutions to companies operating within the project. Food Tech Valley is a hub for innovating future clean technology-based food and agriculture products. EDB has also signed a partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to establish a plan to offer financial solutions to SMEs and modern agricultural startups in a bid to boost agricultural entrepreneurship and improve the UAE’s food and security.

Abdalla Al Aboodi, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Project Finance, Wholesale and Institutional Banking at EDB, joined a panel discussion on the first day of the forum, titled “Investing in the future of food and beverage.” He was joined by Sankha Biswas, CEO of Nutridor Dairy Manufacturing; Paul Thachil, General Manager of Oils and Fats at IFFCO Group; and Abdelrazak Al-Sharif, Head of Programs at Sheraa. They discussed financing trends in SMEs in food technology, the future outlook for impact investing and sustainable food initiatives, and provided an overview of government-aided funding, collaborations and partnerships for industrial innovation.

Aligned with government priorities, the BED continues to deliver on its mission to foster a healthy, sustainable and self-reliant economy, with the mandate to approve AED 30 billion in financial support to 13,500 businesses within its five priority sectors: food security, energy renewables and manufacturing. , technology and healthcare, by 2026.

News source: Emirates News Agency

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