A joint venture between GrowGroup IFS from The Netherlands and RainMakers Capital Investment from Abu Dhabi, will build the largest indoor farm in the world in the desert of Abu Dhabi.
GrowGroup IFS is specialised in developing indoor farming based on advanced Dutch innovative farming solutions, especially in regions where normal cultivation is restricted by extreme climate and or limited space.
RainMakers Capital Investment brings together the world’s most impactful companies and projects in the food and agriculture sector and UAE’s economic, educational and investment stakeholders.
The farm, GreenFactory Emirates, will produce 10,000 tonnes of fresh produce per year on a plot of 17.5ha and a cultivation area of 160,000m2, UAE’s state-run news agency Wam reported.
GreenFactory Emirates will develop innovative indoor farming with the world’s most advanced indoor growing system from The Netherlands; it is a combination of vertical and flat farming and solves the normal cultivation restrictions due to extreme climates in regions like the UAE, according to a joint press statement issued by the two companies.
The joint venture also plans to build other indoor farms in other regions of the world where extreme climates are a challenge to normal cultivation, they added.
The facility will involve numerous leading agro-technological companies in its construction.
Commenting on the venture, minister of state for food security, Mariam Hareb Almheiri, said, “UAE is applying concerted efforts to improve its domestic production of food, with agricultural technology or AgTech having a hugely important role to play. In fact, key targets of the government’s National Food Security strategy launched in November 2018 are to generate a 30% yield improvement from technology-enabled production and for the UAE to become a world-leading hub in innovation-driven food security by 2051. Indoor farms such as GreenFactory Emirates are instrumental in helping us reach these goals.”
The GreenFactory will be saving 95% of water consumption as opposed to standard methods of cultivation as well as reducing its carbon dioxide footprint up to 40%.
The total project amounting to $176.9m (AED650m) is planned in different phases spanning over three years.
Phase 1 will be operational before Expo 2020 Dubai in October 2021, prompting a kick-off for more similar projects and innovations worldwide.
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