DUBAI, Sokovo has today signed an agreement with Dubai Industrial City, one of the region’s largest manufacturing and logistics hub, to establish a vertical farm that will produce thousands of tonnes of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables per year.
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 industry is attracting and nurturing talents that are bolstering the UAE’s innovation-driven food security strategy as vertical farming booms nationwide.
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 sanitise and pack the produce, creating a fast and efficient farm-to-fork delivery system. Rotating seven-metre-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: “Growing melons, tomatoes, strawberries and kale in an arid climate with limited water and arable land should be impossible, but the UAE’s commitment to innovation-driven food security shows anything is possible. 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.”
He added: “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 catalyses 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.”
Highlighting the importance of innovation-driven food security and the opportunities in the region, 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.”
Covering more than 550 million sq. ft. Dubai Industrial City is designed around a world-class masterplan that divides the massive business district into strategic sector-focused zones. The food and beverage site covers a total land area of 23.5 million sq. ft and is home to more than 60 food and beverage manufacturers including Barakat, Patchi, Almarai Group, Barakah Dates Factory and Lifco. There are also 11 food production factories under construction.
With more than 750 business partners in Dubai Industrial City, the manufacturing and logistics hub is a strategic driver and enabler of several government initiatives, including the Dubai industrial strategy 2030, the National Food Security Strategy 2051 and the UAE Clean Energy Strategy 2050.
Source: Emirates News Agency