Pure Harvest enters strategic partnership for large-scale food project in Saudi Arabia

The Abu Dhabi start-up is working with National Agricultural Development Company to create year-round food production

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Abdulrahman Al Fadhli, centre, with Nadec officials. Photo: Nadec
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Abu Dhabi start-up Pure Harvest Smart Farms has entered a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia's National Agricultural Development Company (Nadec) to deliver a large-scale food security project in the kingdom.

Pure Harvest will design, construct and operate high-tech, climate-controlled hybrid food production systems that will allow year-round production. It aims to deliver more than 27 hectares of production in the near term.

The strategic alliance is aligned to the kingdom’s vision for a more self-sufficient and sustainable food system, the two parties said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We greatly benefit from Nadec’s strength, and together we are pioneering a new category of fresh produce for the Saudi people – premium local," said Sky Kurtz, founder and chief executive of Pure Harvest Smart Farms.

"High-quality, delicious, safe and affordable fresh produce that is always in season … offering new varieties, new products, and a fundamentally novel fresh produce experience."

The two parties completed and commissioned their first-ever project in December 2021, and went on to produce more than 15 varieties of hydroponically-grown tomatoes in an approximately 6-hectare high-tech, climate-controlled growing system in Nadec City, Haradh.

The project produces more than 5 million kilograms of tomatoes per annum, harvesting daily throughout the year, with peak production occurring during the hottest summer months.

Pure Harvest is seeking to obtain substantial production capacity over the next five years in Saudi Arabia, farming a wide range of crops, and Nadec will market these products to its expansive consumer base, hotels, restaurants and catering partners, the statement said.

The start-up's fresh produce growing system helps consume less water and is powered using Nadec’s renewable energy.

Last year, the company raised $181 million in its latest funding round as it looked to expand further into GCC and Asia.

The financing brought the agricultural technology company's total funding to $387.1 million, making it among the most-funded start-ups in the region.

Saudi Arabia has been working to enhance its food growth amid climate change challenges and scarcity of water resources.

The Saudi Vision 2030 has focused its sustainable development efforts on building a sustainable agricultural sector, enhancing sectors that support food systems and improving agricultural productivity.

Updated: January 31, 2023, 11:25 AM