UK-based Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) announced on Thursday that it has signed a partnership deal with the UAE's Madar Farms to introduce its plug-and-play vertical farming platforms in the country.
The Edinburgh-headquartered agritech company said in a press statement that the partnership will allow Madar Farms to scale its indoor growing operations to meet demand for its commercial-sold produce year-round, as well as enhance its research and development (R&D) capabilities to trial more produce and extend its crop portfolio.
The statement said IGS will initially install five Growth Towers, each six metres high, with a growing space of up to 1,500 square metres and the ability to produce up to 30 tonnes of crop per annum in Abu Dhabi to grow leafy greens and herbs in a sustainable manner by minimising water usage.
It said the partnership would also focus on R&D, with Madar Farms utilising IGS systems to enhance early-stage tomato seedling production, which would then be moved into an indoor growing environment to complete the full growth cycle. IGS has successfully implemented similar trials for strawberries and seed potatoes.
IGS CEO, David Farquhar, said: “In the UAE and wider GCC region, there has never been a more pressing need to identify and develop sustainable food supply chains, securing local resources and reducing the reliance on imports. We are delighted to announce this deal and to be working with Madar Farms, which is an organisation perfectly aligned with our ambition to bring innovative new technology and approaches to growing in the GCC region and beyond.”
“As the population in the UAE continues to grow and there’s more focus on sustainability, the new IGS system will help to meet this increasing demand and give UAE consumers more options to enjoy the best quality fresh locally-grown produce,” added Abdulaziz AlMulla, Madar Farms Founder and CEO.
The installation is due to begin later this year and the Growth Towers should be operational in November 2021, the IGS statement said.
IGS is working with UAE-based multidisciplinary asset management services firm International Real Estate Partners (IREP).
(Writing by Sowmya Sundar; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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