Silal, Abu Dhabi’s leading fresh produce and agritech company, and US-based AeroFarms, a Certified B Corporation and leader in indoor vertical farming, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a long-term research and development (R&D), involving knowledge and technology transfer of advanced farming systems to local farmers.
Under the MoU, both parties will assess opportunities to transfer technology and data analytics capabilities from high-tech farming systems to improve yield, reduce cost and waste, and enhance environmental sustainability practices in agriculture across Abu Dhabi. Both entities will also work across priority research areas to benefit the local food supply and market dynamics, including seedling quality improvement and crop diversification.
The collaboration will enhance the genetics and seedling quality of vegetable and fruit varieties to become more resilient and tolerant to extreme growing conditions. The quality of a seedling is an essential factor for crop establishment, growth, and yield. The partnership will also focus on evaluating and testing crops that have large consumer demand such as chilli pepper, capsicum, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, broccoli, courgette, melons, eggplant, strawberry, and blueberry.
“One of our standing pillars at Silal is exploring innovative ways to increase local production, through R&D projects and collaboration with programs that foster growth. By working together with AeroFarms, we will explore localized advanced farming techniques that will enable local farmers to produce better, smarter, and more sustainably, bringing far-reaching benefits for producers and consumers. Our collaboration is another monumental step for Silal in its efforts to drive, deliver and safeguard the high-quality food supply for the UAE and its people.”
Moreover, both parties will collaborate with international consortia and initiatives to develop new genotypes of crops that have the compatible genetic traits to be produced in Abu Dhabi. The trials and experiments on the crops will be conducted at AeroFarms AgX facility, a state-of-the-art indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, and the largest research center of its kind in the world.
Silal’s farms will also host experiments on crops recognized by both parties as valuable to local growers. In addition, knowledge transfer opportunities such as training, workshops, and seminars will be explored in order to share expertise with the wider farming communities in Abu Dhabi.