RIYADH: The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia has partnered with AeroFarms, a US-based leader in vertical farming, to form a joint venture to build and operate indoor vertical farms in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East and North Africa region, according to Saudi Press Agency.

The agreement aims to optimize natural resources through indoor vertical farming, which requires no arable land and uses 95% less water than traditional field farming. The partnership will allow for sustainable, local sourcing of high-quality crops all year round, grown with AeroFarms' AgTech platform. The joint venture plans to build several farms in the region with the first in Saudi Arabia, the largest of its kind in the region, having a capacity of 1.1 million kg of crops per year.

Majed AlAssaf, Head of Consumer Goods and Retail at PIF's MENA Investments Division, stated that the partnership with AeroFarms will result in the creation of indoor vertical farms in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, promoting local production of high-quality crops using sustainable technology. He added that PIF is driving the growth of the food and agriculture sector and bringing technology to the private sector.