Agriculture Abu Dhabi’s Dana turns focus on Moroccan agtech solutions By Andy Sambidge December 21, 2022 Creative Commons The sharp monthly rise was due to a raft of new-year price hikes including for public transit and rising food prices UAE agtech know-how to boost Agadir region’s food outputPartnership to aid Morocco’s smart farming research and development Dana Global, a desert tech venture builder and investment platform based in Abu Dhabi, is partnering with Agadir Horticultural Complex to help transform agriculture in Morocco. The Agadir region forms the heart of Morocco’s agricultural industry and provides 9 percent of national GDP while processing 90 percent of the country’s fresh produce market. The region is also crucial to the government of Morocco’s “Generation Green” strategy to increase the country’s food output. Abu Dhabi backs women-led food security startups in Mena$5.5m initiative for food security in Mediterranean countries “Two years ago, we decided to establish our base in Abu Dhabi which has led the way in progressive food security and sustainability policy, and acted as a hub for scaling solutions to the entire Mena region,” Shirley Shahar, co-founder of Dana Global, said. “This new project is a milestone in Dana’s efforts to scale up a sustainable desert tech solution to the region’s largest markets. “Agadir specifically harbours huge potential for rapid adoption. The UAE and Morocco are ideal partners to jointly tackle food security.” The UAE has invested more than $20 billion in Moroccan growth sectors over the past four decades. The new innovation hub’s goal is to boost research and development into agri-food and smart water solutions, addressing the technological needs of Agadir’s farmers to improve food security, food quality and sustainability. Although Morocco is situated between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the country’s infrastructure only produces 20 percent of its water. To meet growing domestic demand, this capacity needs to increase. Dana said it will operate an incubation and acceleration programme, bringing technological know-how from the region’s leading agtech ecosystems. It added that it will team up with Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, a university based in Agadir specialising in agricultural research. Dana Global, which is backed by renowned US venture capitalist David Sable, is currently working with six companies from the UAE, Palestine, Israel and Saudi Arabia to offer agtech solutions to markets including Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.