How to set up an Agritech company in the UAE?

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How to Setup an Agritech company in the UAE? We know that the multiple choices and regulations available might seem daunting. It’s simpler than you think! The arid climate of the UAE, along with scorching summers can make farming a…

by | Feb 24, 2021 | 0 comments

How to Setup an Agritech company in the UAE? We know that the multiple choices and regulations available might seem daunting. It’s simpler than you think!

The arid climate of the UAE, along with scorching summers can make farming a challenging industry. Imported food accounts for 90% of the food consumed in the UAE. The cost of these imports into the region has exceeded a total $53.1 billion in 2020.

Being the case, the agriculture sector in the UAE has undergone many changes. The challenge is to create agriculture with minimum water. Modern irrigation systems and hydroponics are increasingly being used. Farmers now are switching to organic farming.

Agri-Tech Accelerators

To accelerate the adoption of technology in agriculture, the Office of Food Security in cooperation with the Government Accelerators program has launched 10 initiatives. They are:

  1. Emirates Sustainable Agriculture Label
  2. A framework of Agriculture Finance
  3. Ag-Tech Loan Guarantee & Supply Chain Financing
  4. Ag-Tech Building Code
  5. Unified Agriculture License
  6. Food Security Data Framework
  7. Food Security Data Platform
  8. Aquaculture Standards
  9. Fish Feed Facility
  10. Aquaculture Atlas.

The national system for sustainable agriculture aims to improve the efficiency of farms, enhance self-sufficiency in food and create new opportunities to ensure that the agriculture sector is ranked among the best.

Licensing jurisdictions in UAE

How to Setup an Agritech company in UAE Mainland: (DED ) is the jurisdiction issuing ONSHORE COMPANIES LICENSES. Being a mainland license means that the business is able to work and trade goods inside the UAE and abroad, through B2B and B2C models.

A DED license permits businesses to provide goods and services to local and international markets without restrictions.

Setting up your business in the Mainland is ideal for businesses who want to have operations throughout the UAE local market, free zones, and internationally. Businesses operating out of the mainland have no restrictions on where they can sell their products or services.

How to Setup an AgriTech company in UAE Free Zone: Few free zones in UAE introduced the Foodstuff, Livestock & Agriculture sector dedicated to Food and Agricultural facilities. A Free Zone license allows 100% foreign ownership of the business. No local shareholder is required. Free zone registered businesses are permitted to operate only within the area of licensing or internationally. A free zone registered company can not operate directly with its consumers inside the UAE.

Setting up your business in a Free Zone is perfect for businesses dealing with international markets and within the Free Zone.

Apply for a license to practice agricultural activities in UAE

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCaE) is the authority that regulates agricultural activities.

A few examples:

  1. Plant Nursery License: A license is obtained for the production of seedlings of vegetables, fruit, forest, shade plants, and ornamentals within the country valid for one year from the date of issue.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

  • Commercial license or professional license or trade name or preliminary approval issued by the competent local authority
  • Nursery map showing the area and location
  • Copy of a valid lease site activity or proof of ownership of the site  business opportunities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

  1. The plant nursery minimum area required is 2 dunums.
  2. The location of the nursery should be close to the roads
  3. An office room, storeroom, and toilets are mandatory requirements.
  4. The nursery soil should be suitable for cultivation and free from soil pests
  5. The irrigation water in the nursery should be suitable for irrigation of cultivated plants
  6. The presence of an agricultural engineer or agricultural technician with an agricultural activities license (for more information about agricultural activities license please see the link: https://www.moccae.gov.ae/en/our-services/certificates/agricultural-engineer-career-practice-certificate.aspx

2. Agricultural Activities License. business opportunities

Approval is obtained for a valid agricultural activity for one year from the date of issue. These activities include: (Agricultural Engineering Consultancy / Agricultural Pest Control Services / Wholesale and Retail Pesticide Trade / Wholesale and Retail Fertilizer & soil conditioners Trade/ Wholesale seeds & tubers trade/ wholesale of different plants and cut flowers trade/ wholesale bee trade / wholesale OUD (Agarwood) trade)

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS: business opportunities

For all establishments:

  1. Commercial license OR trade name and partners annex
  2. Copy of owner’s passport

Below are the documents that are required for fertilizer and pesticides establishments:

  1.  Copy of Lease OR ownership of the activity site

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

For pesticide and fertilizer trade facilities:

  1. The presence of an agricultural engineer with an agricultural activities license (for more information about agricultural activities license please see the link: https://www.moccae.gov.ae/en/our-services/certificates/agricultural-engineer-career-practice-certificate.aspx
  2. Provide a well-ventilated storage area
  3. The warehouse should be far from residential areas
  4. The floor in the storage area shall be well insulated to prevent moisture leakage and to keep the flooring dry.
  5. Fire extinguishers and first aid should be available in the storage area.

Agricultural consulting facilities:

  1. The presence of an agricultural engineer with a license to practice agricultural engineering with experience in the field of agricultural consultancy is mandatory.

Organic farming

Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology- ESMA introduced an organic food certification scheme in February 2012, which comes with a logo by which consumers can easily distinguish organic products from conventional ones. About half of the 40 existing organic farms have already been certified and others are under process.

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