Uganda signs agricultural free-trade-zone deal with UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a deal with Uganda  to establish one of the world’s only agricultural free zones in an attempt to enhance food security in the Emirates as well as boost agricultural production in Uganda.

The 2,500-hectare free zone will allow private companies from the UAE to invest in agricultural production and development in Uganda.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the ongoing Uganda – UAE Business Forum in Dubai, UAE.

The Minister of Agriculture,  Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, who signed the MoU on behalf of Uganda, said that government will support small scale farmers across the country to improve the quality and quantity of their produce to enable them supply the highly sought after and competitive Dubai and UAE market.

Mariam Al Mehairi, the UAE Minister for Food Security,  it will also act as a launch pad for further investment into East and Central Africa. “There is a lot of potential to be unlocked in that area,” she said.

The agreement was signed at Agriscape, a two-day exhibition in Abu Dhabi that convenes dozens of producers, suppliers and investors from across the globe. The deal will promote agribusiness between the two countries and lead to an increase in UAE imports of Ugandan crops and beef.

Food security – the accessibility of safe and nutritious food for all – is crucial in the UAE, where land is arid and water is scarce.