The UAE-based Utico, Middle East’s largest private utility and Environment Protection and Development Authority (EPDA), Ras Al Khaimah, announced a 48 per cent rebate in water supply tariffs to farmers to mark the 48th UAE National Day.
The rebate for a month will be effective on the November bills of the farmers, Utico said in a statement, adding that the move was in line with the UAE’s National Tolerance Programme and support to those who contribute the most to food security in the country in order to help become self-sustainable.
Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Saif Al Ghais, Director General of EPDA, said: “This initiative by Utico on the occasion of the UAE National Day will encourage and support the agricultural sector and will encourage the farmers.”
The rebate will also serve those who are into animal husbandry and other farmers for whom water is a key component for success.
“We are indeed honoured to serve the nation and I would like to thank the rulers of each emirate of this country, and particularly H.H Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah for giving us an opportunity to contribute to the welfare and prosperity of the country. We wish the UAE a millennia of peace and prosperity as well as the entire world,” said Mr. Richard Menezes, CEO of Utico.
He said Utico will continue to work and invest with responsibility to ensure 100 per cent availability of high quality water to all consumers and was also working with farmers that they support Utico with responsibility too by ensuring high quality output with lowest per capita water consumption.
Utico said ever since it has started supplying water, the total output from the farms have increased by nearly 500% in the past year. This increase in the production of fruits, vegetables, other produce including better output of animal husbandry products, milk, meat etc. is a testament for achieving a balance between sustainable input and output that is necessary in today’s world.
It will also mitigate climate change through reduced logistics leading to lower emissions and cut food imports while increasing local farm income and in turn community happiness. Utico said it is also currently working on new programs to increase farmers’ income and overall productivity.