Abu Dhabi invests $100m forNextGen agriculture in the desert
ABU DHABI: With investment totaling AED367 million (USD100 million), four agri-technology (AgTech) pioneers will build new facilities in Abu Dhabi dedicated to developing next generation agriculture in arid and desert agriculture.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) is providing the funding to AeroFarms, Madar Farms, RNZ and Responsive Drip Irrigation (RDI), to establish new R&D and production facilities in the emirate, turning sand into farmland, solving complex global agriculture challenges and expanding the profile of local food producers, the Emirates news agency WAM reported.
Under this partnership, each firm is tasked to solving regional and global food security challenges.
“Four global AgTech innovators are joining our mission to turn sand into farmland. In line with Abu Dhabi’s long-term vision to grow the sector, ADIO partners with companies that have innovation at the core to help ensure long-term success. Each of these companies will add to our already established agriculture ecosystem, and benefit from our plentiful land, natural heat, competitive energy prices and access to research universities and skilled talent,” said Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director-General of ADIO.
AeroFarms will focus on next-generation genetic phenotyping and organoleptic research while also tackling the challenges of desert agriculture from its new 8,200-sqm R&D center in Abu Dhabi. The center will be the largest indoor vertical farm of its kind in the world and will employ a projected 60 plus highly skilled engineers, horticulturists and scientists.
Madar Farms, a home-grown UAE AgTech innovator, will build the world’s first commercial-scale indoor tomato farm using only LED lights in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, KIZAD. The company is also set to scale up the commercialization of microgreen growing to help provide a consistent and predictable local food supply that responsibly uses the region’s natural resources.
RDI is developing an innovative irrigation system to transform water usage in UAE agriculture and conducting research trials to increase crop yields in sandy soils and non-arable land. While locally-based company RNZ will set up a state-of-the-art R&D centre to research, formulate and commercialize ‘agri-input’ solutions that will help to grow more with less.