Abu Dhabi is building the world’s largest indoor farm in its desert. The project will be a collaboration with Netherlands-based GrowGroup IFS and RainMakers Capital Investment LLC from the emirate.
The project with a 160,000 Sq.mtr cultivation area at a 17.5 hectares plot will produce 10,000 tonnes of fresh produce per year.
The innovative indoor farming with the world’s most advanced indoor growing system will have vertical and flat farming that will resolves normal cultivation restrictions due to extreme climates in regions like the UAE.
The all-in-one facility will see seeding, harvesting, processing to “ready to eat” products take place under one roof. The project will involve agro-technological companies across the globe as each component will be sourced through top-tier Dutch companies allowing for cultivating high-quality vegetables 100% pesticide-free, all year round.
“The private sector plays a vital role in the transition towards more sustainable food systems. Private sector organizations have entrepreneurial traits that drive innovation. They possess the qualities necessary to disrupt existing non-sustainable agricultural systems.”
“The UAE is applying concerted efforts to improve its domestic production of food, with agricultural technology – ‘AgTech’ – having a hugely important role to play. In fact, key targets of the government’s National Food Security strategy launched in November 2018 are to generate a 30 percent yield improvement from technology-enabled production and for the UAE to become a world-leading hub in innovation-driven food security by 2051. Indoor farms such as GreenFactory Emirates are instrumental in helping us reach these goals.”
The project will lead to 95 percent savings in water consumption along with a 40 percent reduction in Carbon di-oxide (Co2) footprint.
The facility will have an built-in research and development component will is expected to increase the production beyond the 56 current varieties of lettuces, leafy greens, herbs and kale. The project will employ real-time data collection to optimize production contributing to future indoor farming projects all across the globe.
The multi-phased project which is expected to have a development period of 3 years will cost $174.83 million. Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed before October 2021 which will allow GreenFactory Emirates to showcase the indoor farming innovations in Expo 2020 Dubai.
GrowGroup IFS (Innovative Farming Solutions), founded by CEO John Breedveld in Barendrecht in The Netherlands, is specialized in developing indoor farming based on the most advanced Dutch innovative farming solutions, especially in regions where normal cultivation is restricted by extreme climate and or limited space.