Vertical farming is booming in the UAE as the nation seeks to promote innovation-driven food security strategy, attracting and nurturing talent as well as investment.
The latest project announcement comes from Dubai Industrial City, one of the region’s mega manufacturing and logistics hub, which has signed an agreement with Sokovo, to establish a vertical farm that will produce thousands of tonnes of leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables per year.
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The indoor farm has a plot size of more than 100,000 sq ft, with a total built-up area covering more than 25,000 sq ft. Sokovo will grow fresh kale, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, and melons, supplying hundreds of hypermarkets, hotels, and top chefs across the country.
The environmentally-friendly hydroponic facility will be built with a retractable sunroof to maximise natural light and reduce electricity consumption. Water will be responsibly used to provide the necessary nutrients to the crops and maintain quality and freshness.
State-of-the-art processing and sorting equipment will sanitize and pack the produce, creating a fast and efficient farm-to-fork delivery system.
Rotating seven-meter-tall towers will also be used to make sure that all the crops get equal exposure to natural sunlight which helps us maximize the freshness of all the produce and maintain efficiency across a large area. The factory will be designed with high flexibility and agility to match market demand while delivering the highest levels of product quality and safety.
Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, said: “Our agreement with Sokovo to build a world-class vertical farm marks an exciting chapter in the future of food production, and we are delighted to welcome them to our business district.”
“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 catalyzes investment and employment opportunities that contribute to our knowledge-based economy. And today’s important agreement moves the UAE closer to achieving the goals enshrined in the National Food Security Strategy 2051,” he added.
Harsh Gurbani, Manager, Sokovo, added: “We look forward to producing pesticide-free fruits and vegetables which would be grown and sold only in the UAE. This would also contribute towards the economy of the country and enable us to grow fresh products 365 days of the year and 24 hours of the day.”
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