Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Abu Dhabi reopens fresh local produce outlets

23 Feb 2011, The Gulf Today

THE Abu Dhabi Farmers’ Services Centre (ADFSC) has reopened three outlets of fresh local produce in Liwa, Al Sila and Al Muroor areas, bringing the total number of such outlets currently functional to five.
The ADFSC will reopen all 23 outlets during the current year, to further strengthen the Emirate’s agricultural sector by promoting local produce and improving national food security, according to a top official.
The UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, had established the fresh local produce stores 25 years ago aimed at selling high quality fresh food varieties at affordable prices for the residents in Abu Dhabi.
Christopher Hirst, CEO of the ADFSC indicated that the reopened outlets constitute the first phase of a comprehensive programme, comprising a wide network of 23 stores across the Emirate.
“The stores have recommenced trading after the completion of extensive maintenance work. The remaining stores are presently under renovation and will be reopened during the current year. The other two stores that are now functional are located at Al Mina and the Delma Island, the former being a temporary one,” he added.
“The reopening of the centres marked a crucial phase in the ADFSC’s efforts at enhancing the market share of local farming produce. Restoration of this service under the ADFSC will help local farmers market their produce effectively and profitably,” Hirst elaborated.
According to him, the consumers will also benefit substantially since the centres will supply locally-sourced quality produce at affordable prices,” he said.
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, director of Communication and Community Service at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), said the local products in the markets guarantee better food security. 
“Several tests carried out by our laboratories confirmed that local vegetables and fruits are on par with the best imported products in terms of quality and nutrition. Besides, they are fresher than imported products, as the time gap between production and sale is considerably less. Moreover, they have an edge over others in terms of price” he pointed out.
Earlier this month, the ADFCA had called upon all trade centres and sales outlets selling vegetables and fruits to strengthen the sale and marketing of local farm products.