Dubai-based company specializing in high-tech agriculture, Sokovo has entered into an agreement with Dubai Industrial City, one of the region’s largest manufacturing and logistics hubs, to set up a vertical farm that will produce thousands of tonnes of fruits and vegetables every year to support UAE’s aim of enhancing its food security.
The indoor farm has a plot size of more than 100,000 sq ft, with a total built-up area covering over 25,000 sq ft and it will grow fresh kale, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and melons, among other produce. Sokovo will supply food to hypermarkets, hotels and top chefs across the country.
“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.”
Sokovo’s factory will be designed with high flexibility and agility to match market demand while delivering the highest levels of product quality and safety. State-of-the-art processing and sorting equipment will sanitize and pack the produce, creating a fast and efficient farm-to-fork delivery system.
The UAE government has been prioritizing food security and innovation in agriculture amid disruption to the global food supply chain due to the pandemic. This agreement has helped the country to move closer to achieve the goals enshrined in the National Food Security Strategy 2051.
In 2020, the Abu Dhabi government said it would offer more than $30 million in financial incentives to agriculture technology companies looking to set up operations in the emirate as part of its $13.6 billion Ghadan 21 accelerator initiative.
Last month, vertical farming company AeroFarms started construction in Abu Dhabi on 8,200-square-metre research and development center, the largest in the world, aimed at advancing sustainable agriculture in arid climates.
Spread over an area of more than 5,000 hectares, Dubai Industrial City is divided into several zones with a focus on strategic sectors. The food and beverage site covers about 220 hectares and is home to over 60 food and beverage manufacturers, including Barakat, Patchi, Almarai Group, Barakah Dates Factory and Lifco.