The Ministry of Environment and Water has revealed the implementation of a new awareness, inspection and auditing campaign covering all agricultural-based establishments in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK).
The new initiative, which is being ran in collaboration with RAK Municipality, the local Environmental Agency and the emirate’s Department of Economic Development (RAK DED), ran for two days and focused on the inspection and audit of more than 20 agri-based establishments—including businesses involved in the trading of pesticides, fertilizers, improvers, seeds & seedlings and small nursery shops.
During the inspections, specialized teams composed of the agricultural audit department and representatives from the local authorities confiscated illegal agricultural materials, which included products that were unregistered, restricted, and expired. The inspections also resulted in the issuance of fines and penalties for nurseries and agri-based shops that were found to be in violation of certain laws and legislations.
H.E. Engineer Saif Mohammed Al Shara, Assistant Undersecretary of External Audit Sector, Ministry of Environment and Water, shared that such campaigns falls in line with the Ministry’s continuing efforts to achieve its strategic goals, which are represented by the objectives of enhancing environmental sustainability, food Safety and local production sustainability, protecting the environment and the health and safety of the society members.
He added: that “The objective behind the campaign also demonstrates the Ministry’s commitment to reinforce ties with local authorities and help meet the set goals of the government. In particular, this campaign sought to make people more aware of the laws and legislations covering the operations of agricultural based establishments, including best practices and internationally accepted guidelines and standards.”
The Assistant Undersecretary for External Audit of the Ministry explained that the campaign covered all areas in RAK, like Al-Deqdaqa, Izn, Jazirat Al Hamra and Muaired. The inspection teams checked on the inventories of the establishments and if the business licenses were still valid.
Eng. Al Shara gave assurances that the Ministry will continue with its efforts in monitoring the operating agri-based establishments in RAK and will constant follow-ups on businesses caught with violations to make sure that corrective measures have been applied.
The Ministry has also revealed that establishment owners and their respective employees have been given briefings on updated regulations and guidelines in maintaining agricultural based businesses. They have also been issued with informative literature on key ways to store their supplies, particularly pesticides and production-based materials.
The Ministry has revealed that the campaign will cover all emirates. To date, the Ministry has already successfully conducted inspections in RAK and Abu Dhabi in the first half of the year and will conduct similar inspections across the other emirates in coordination with their respective local authorities.