The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) came together for an intensive workshop on the RuralInvest toolkit developed by FAO’s Investment Centre.
The workshop aimed to assist countries in building the capacities of experts and technicians, enabling them to formulate plans and feasibility studies for small and middle-sized agrifood businesses that align with agricultural sustainability goals.
The capacity building workshop ran for eight days and was attended by 23 experts and technicians from ADAFSA.
This initiative was an integral part of the project that is developing the Master Plan for Sustainable Agriculture in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (MPSA), implemented by FAO to help ADAFSA promote sustainable agricultural practices and achieve the sustainability of the agricultural sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The participants were trained by experienced Ruralinvest trainers, Mr. Marc Fantinet, FAO Senior Investment Support Officer and Mr. Luc Dubreuil, FAO Senior Ruralinvest trainer consultant.
The training focused on the application of the RuralInvest tool that has been developed by FAO since 1998 with the support of national and international development partners. The tool has been successfully applied across various regions, including Latin America, Africa, Central Asia, Asia, North Africa, and now is being introduced to the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi Emirate), a significant step towards enhancing sustainable agrifood practices.
The agricultural sector tailored tool enables trainees to systematise and harmonise the way income-generating business plans are prepared and analysed across regions, ensuring that all important aspects (technical, organisational, commercial, social, environmental, financial) are duly taken into consideration. This would further contribute to the strengthening of project preparation, analysis and monitoring functions within the adopting institutions.
The integration of RuralInvest into the Master Plan provides a dual opportunity. Firstly, it provides support for elaboration of typical business cases that will illustrate the transformation of the sector. Secondly, it enhances the capacity of ADAFSA and other relevant institutions in business planning and advisory services to beneficiaries, with a clear intention to disseminate the Ruralinvest toolkit for use within ADAFSA daily operations.
H.E. Mr. Mubarak Al-Mansouri, the Executive Director of the Agricultural Affairs Sector of ADAFSA and Dr. Markos Tibbo Dambi, Officer-in-Charge for day-to-day matters of FAO’s Subregional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen handed over certificates to the participants at the culmination of the workshop.
As the 8-day training workshop concludes, participants will embark on a distance monitoring phase, during which they will develop real business cases based on the skills and insights gained during the training.
A week-long follow-up session, scheduled after one month, will provide an opportunity for participants to share their experiences and insights gained through practical application.