ADQ and Safe Haven launch high-tech greenhouse project to bolster UAE’s food security

Scheme to use advanced technology to sustainably cultivate tomatoes and cucumbers year-round

ADQ's AgTech Park in Kezad. Photo: Wam
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Abu Dhabi's investment holding company ADQ and the Netherlands-based smart agriculture company Safe Haven Solutions will partner to build a high-tech greenhouse as the UAE seeks to enhance food security.

The automated 10-hectare facility, located in ADQ's AgTech Park, will use advanced agriculture technology to increase sustainable food production in the country, ADQ said in a statement on Monday.

Using a cooling system that reduces its carbon and water footprint, the greenhouse facility will grow tomatoes and cucumbers year-round in a carbon-neutral, climate-controlled environment.

In phase two, the project will enter the commercial stage and double the growing area of crops to 20 hectares, ADQ said.

"Our partnership with Safe Haven Solutions expands on our mission to increase Abu Dhabi’s sustainable agricultural footprint. By driving investments in AgTech solutions, we are strengthening the UAE’s ability to grow more produce domestically," Gil Adotevi, chief executive of food and agriculture at ADQ, said.

"As such, AgTech Park is rapidly emerging as a hub of large-scale, climate-controlled, high-tech farming and R&D projects.”

Al Ain-based AgTech Park, the agricultural venture of ADQ, in March started operations with the opening of a multipurpose vertical farm. It is located in Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi Group (Kezad), which is home to a network of food industries across the entire value chain.

The UAE has been bolstering its support for AgTech projects to reduce its reliance on imports, which are thought to make up about 90 per cent of the food consumed in the country.

Abu Dhabi has launched a number of initiatives, including offering $41 million in grants and incentives worth $545 million to support the expansion of the sector.

The UAE residents are already seeing evidence of recent efforts to grow food in the country as locally harvested farm produce is now a common sight at markets or on dining menus.

Much of this has surfaced over the past few years as vertical and hydroponic farming ventures, as well as research and cloud-seeding, bear fruit.

“Sustainable agriculture is of paramount importance as we strive to strengthen food security and limit our impact on the environment," Nadeem Mohammed Aslam, co-founder of Safe Haven Solutions, said.

"We are confident that the AgTech Park, paired with our innovative technologies, will help strengthen the foundation of the UAE’s agriculture sector as it accelerates towards securing year-round access to nutritious food that feeds a growing nation.”

Kezad's robust infrastructure and flexible spaces provide facilities for companies to tailor projects and enable the production, storage and distribution of food staples for the benefit of the country's expanding agriculture sector, said Abdullah Al Hameli, chief executive of Economic Cities & Free Zones at AD Ports Group.

Updated: August 07, 2023, 1:28 PM