Oct 10, 2023

EDB approves AED721M to AgriTech and Food Security


Emirates Development Bank ("EDB" or "the Bank"), the key financial engine of UAE economic development and industrial advancement, announced that since the launch its new strategy in April 2021, the bank has approved over AED 721 million financial support for food security projects. EDB has allocated AED30 billion to support 13,500 SMEs in five priority sectors: Manufacturing, Renewables, Technology, Healthcare, and Food Security. 

The announcement was made today as EDB concluded its successful participation in the Agra Middle East Exhibition (AgraME 2023), the largest agricultural trade show in the region, which took place alongside AgroFarm Middle at Dubai World Trade Center from 9 to 10 October. EDB's booth attracted an impressive turnout from visitors and key industry players who were interested in exploring the Bank's financing solutions to support food production innovations and drive food security in the region. 

Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Development Bank, said: "It is important that we support investments in agriculture and innovation to boost national food security. Enabling the UAE's agritech and food production capabilities provides tremendous opportunities for stakeholders across the value chain from farmers to small and large food and tech producers.  Events like Agra Middle East are great platforms to showcase scalable opportunities to promote sustainable agriculture.

"As the UAE's development bank, we are uniquely positioned to drive investment in agribusiness through our flexible finance solutions. Our specific agritech loans are tailored to the needs of large and small businesses, this allows us to support climate-smart agriculture to reach the ambitious targets set out in our National Food Security Strategy 2051." 

Food security is one of the five priority sectors that EDB supports to contribute to the UAE's national development and economic diversification plans. The Bank has a dedicated AgriTech Loans Program to provide significant financial support to enable local food production and drive food security. The program stimulates much-needed capital into the agritech industry and provides favorable, long-term loans of up to AED5 million to local producers, farmers, agribusinesses, and food-related projects. The Bank has also allocated AED100 million recently to support this bespoke program.

EDB's support for agritech and food security is guided by the bank's approach to driving economic impact and enabling the growth of sectors of strategic importance to the UAE's national development. In particular, EDB's financing solutions and agritech loans are in line with the UAE's strategies to create sustainable food systems and to step up commitment to climate finance, particularly in support of food security. 

The UAE launched the COP28 Food and Agriculture Agenda ahead of the COP28 conference to ensure the world has a dedicated platform to discuss food security issues and the financing of food system innovations. In line with this approach, EDB is working in partnership with several entities and home-grown initiatives that are tackling climate change and promoting agri-tech and sustainable farming innovations. These include for example the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Food Tech Valley in Dubai.

EDB's booth at AgraME2023 featured a presentation of its Agrtech Loans Program and financing solutions aimed at supporting SMEs and start-ups operating within the farming sector and its downstream industries. EDB offers a patient debt approach with an emphasis on developmental impact. The Bank’s direct and indirect financing is offered with long tenors, higher loan-to-value ratios, lower rates and interest grace periods.

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