New vertical farm launched in Dubai Industrial City
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New vertical farm launched in Dubai Industrial City

New vertical farm launched in Dubai Industrial City

The facility will grow fresh kale, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries and melons, and plans to supply hypermarkets, hotels and chefs across the country

A new vertical farm is set to come up in Dubai Industrial City that will produce thousands of tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables per year.

High-tech agricultural firm Sokovo has signed an agreement with Dubai Industrial City to establish the hydroponic farm, which will grow fresh, pesticide-free produce, a statement said.

Sokovo will grow fresh kale, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries and melons, and plans to supply hundreds of hypermarkets, hotels and chefs across the country.

Processing and sorting equipment will sanitise and pack the produce for a farm-to-fork delivery system.

The eco-friendly indoor facility will be built on a 100,000 sq ft plot and a retractable sunroof will be used to minimise electricity consumption. Rotating seven-metre-tall towers will also ensure all the crops get equal exposure to natural sunlight.

All the produce will be grown sustainably, sold only within the country, and labeled ‘Made in UAE’, the statement added.

“Growing melons, tomatoes, strawberries, and kale in an arid climate with limited water and arable land should be impossible, but the UAE’s commitment to innovation-driven food security shows anything is possible,” said Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, managing director of Dubai Industrial City.

He said the new farm would support the UAE’s food security goals and create employment and investment opportunities in the country.

Dubai Industrial City, which has over 60 food and beverage manufacturers including Barakat, Patchi, Almarai Group, Barakah Dates Factory and Lifco, currently has 11 additional food production factories under construction.

“Food security is a national priority, and the expansion of technology-driven sustainable farming is vital to build and scale resilient production systems that can grow fresh and healthy produce. It also catalyses investment and employment opportunities that contribute to our knowledge-based economy,” Al-Shawareb added.

The UAE has been heavily investing in food security. In May, the country launched the Food Tech Valley initiative in Dubai which seeks to triple its food production.

The Food Tech Valley will be home to four main clusters: agricultural technology and engineering, a food innovation centre, R&D facilities, and an advanced smart food logistics hub.

The agricultural technology and engineering cluster will have a vertical farm that will employ the latest food technologies to grow year-round vital crops. The cluster will also focus on developing innovative projects in bioengineering, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence and supporting capacity building across the food ecosystem.

Read: Sheikh Mohammed launches Food Tech Valley in Dubai

Last year, Majid Al Futtaim also opened Dubai’s “first” in-store hydroponic farm at its Carrefour market Al Wasl store.

The farm spans 24 square metres and can accommodate up to 16 varieties of leafy greens, including lettuce, arugula, and kale, and herbs such as basil, dill, and sorrel.

Read: Majid Al Futtaim launches Dubai’s ‘first’ in-store hydroponic farm

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