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Sunday, July 21, 2024

EDB launches agritech AED100 million lending programme


Emirates Development Bank (“EDB” or “the Bank”), the key financial engine of UAE economic development and industrial advancement, today unveiled the UAE’s first-of-its-kind Agritech Loans Programme. In a groundbreaking initiative, EDB is set to allocate a substantial Dh100 million in financing support for the country’s vital food security sector.

The new Agritech Loans Programme is designed to enable a sustainable and thriving national agriculture sector, positioning the UAE as a global leader in agricultural innovation. With a vision to enhance food security, EDB’s new product aims to empower farms, local growers and food suppliers by supporting their adaptation and modernisation efforts.

Ahmed Al Naqbi, CEO of Emirates Development Bank, said: “We understand UAE food security is fundamental to the long-term health and wellbeing of the population. As the UAE’s development bank, it is our top priority to transform the nation into a regional hub for local food production in line with the National Food Security Strategy 2051.

“Leveraging our competitive and accessible financing solutions, we aim to facilitate the adoption of advanced technology and cutting-edge solutions, contributing to the realization of this strategic vision.”

The UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 aims to make the UAE the world’s best on the Global Food Security Index by 2051. The strategy outlines plans to develop a comprehensive national system based on enabling sustainable food production through using modern technologies, while enhancing local production.

Recognising the need to embrace cutting-edge technology, the Agritech Loans Programme addresses the challenges faced by the agricultural industry and promotes its evolution.

Through this initiative, EDB aims to help deliver innovative solutions to agricultural operations and optimise yields. The financing support provided will facilitate the implementation of precision agriculture techniques, state-of-the-art irrigation systems and advanced crop monitoring tools, propelling the sector towards more sustainable practices and heightened productivity.

Target customers for the Agritech-specific finance offerings include farmers, local producers, technology providers, equipment suppliers, and those involved in the agriculture support ecosystem.

The program offers green- and brownfield project financing, CAPEX and working capital financing, and medium-term loans or working capital amounts of up to Dh5 million with competitive rates and a long tenor of ten years.

EDB’s Agritech financing programme also provides grace periods of up to 2.5 years. The program is offered with a Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio of up to 90%. This feature aims to provide increased financial flexibility and support to borrowers in the agricultural technology sector, facilitating the swift adoption of transformative technologies.

Al Naqbi added: “EDB’s commitment to empowering the agricultural community aligns with the UAE’s national agenda, which places utmost importance on achieving food self-sufficiency and reducing dependence on imports. By fostering collaboration between financial institutions and the agriculture sector, EDB aims to catalyse the growth of domestic food production, enhance supply chain resilience and contribute to the nation’s economic development.”

Aligned with government priorities, EDB continues to deliver on its mission of fostering a healthy, sustainable, and self-reliant economy, with a mandate to approve Dh30 billion in financing support to 13,500 companies within its five priority sectors – food security, renewables, manufacturing, technology and healthcare – by 2026.

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