UAE desert to host the world’s largest indoor farm

DG Staff

ABU DHABI/BARENDRECHT (HOLLAND) 11 October 2020: GreenFactory Emirates, a joint venture between GrowGroup IFS from Barendrecht (The Netherlands) and rainMKRS Capital Investment from Abu Dhabi, will build the largest indoor farm in the world in the desert of Abu Dhabi.

GreenFactory Emirates will produce 10,000 tonnes of fresh produce per year on a plot of 17.5 hectares and a cultivation area of 160,000 square metres.

The total project amounting to Dh650million (€150m) is planned in different phases in 3 years. Phase 1 will be operational before Expo 2020 Dubai in October 2021, so GreenFactory Emirates can show the world its innovations. A kick-off for more similar projects and innovations worldwide.

GreenFactory Emirates will develop a combination of vertical and flat farming to solve the normal cultivation restrictions due to extreme climates in regions like the UAE, according to a joint press statement issued by the two companies.

The facility will involve numerous leading agro-technological companies in its construction as best of breed for each component will be sourced through top-tier Dutch companies. It is now possible to cultivate high-quality vegetables 100% pesticide-free, all year round and anywhere on the planet. From seeding, harvesting, processing to “ready to eat” products will take place under one roof.

The joint venture also plans to build other indoor farms in other regions of the world where extreme climates are a challenge to normal cultivation, they added.

Water, CO2 and waste

The GreenFactory will be saving 95 percent of water consumption as opposed to standard methods of cultivation as well as reducing its Co2 footprint up to 40 percent. By growing fresh produce locally, GreenFactory Emirates will also contribute to reducing waste in various other areas. Its contribution to slowly reducing reliance on fresh foods imports will in turn reduce waste of produce occurring during the transport process while reducing logistical traffic.

Research and development GreenFactory Emirates will include a built-in research and development component that will help ramp up the production beyond the 56 current varieties of lettuces, leafy greens, herbs and kale. It will also optimise its production by collecting real-time data to inform future global expansion of indoor farming. With confirmed partnerships with GAAS Wageningen and Delphy in The Netherlands, GreenFactory will benefit from live feedback provided by some of the best students and Academia in the field.

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