ADQ unveils plans for region’s largest, tech-enabled fresh produce farming hub

Aug 31, 2021

News

  • New AgTech Park project aims to accelerate sustainable local food production and position the UAE as a hub to supply high-growth markets across the Middle East and Africa

ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a diverse portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy, today unveiled its plans to launch the UAE’s first fresh produce AgTech Park to accelerate sustainable innovation-centric food production and distribution.

The new AgTech Park project in Al Ain Industrial City (AAIC) under Abu Dhabi Ports’ Industrial Cities & Free Zone Cluster will also help position the UAE as the region’s leading fresh produce farming hub, reducing the nation’s reliance on premium food imports. This strategic location will increase efficiency in processing, storage, and distribution of perishable goods and food supplies for the region. As part of the project, ADQ has entered into partnerships with three controlled-environment agriculture specialists to develop and operate greenhouse facilities within the AgTech Park.

Once operational, ADQ expects the 200-hectare AgTech Park to have an annual fresh fruits and vegetables production capacity of 39 kilotons. Progressive tech-enabled infrastructure will support large-scale, controlled-environment farming and R&D initiatives, enabling farmers and innovators to cultivate high-quality, fresh produce, including nutritious fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.

The development of the AgTech Park is aligned with ADQ’s strategy to grow a thriving food and agriculture ecosystem for the UAE. To ensure reliable access to food supplies, it is vital to increase local food production and strengthen the UAE’s position as a regional hub. A year ago, ADQ launched Silal to support the UAE’s overall food and agriculture sector and local farmers through commercial offtakes and technology enhancement.

Mansour AlMulla, Group Chief Investment Officer at ADQ, commented:“ADQ is actively investing in developing the UAE’s agriculture sector into a leading regional food hub, fortifying the resilience of its food system. With a scalable, environmentally sustainable AgTech Park, we will increase the availability of high-quality local produce while leveraging technology to optimise the use of our natural resources, such as water, and protecting our environment. Efficient AgTech solutions for fresh produce can help the UAE achieve higher production levels and lower water usage, unlocking the economic and environmental benefits of having shorter supply chains.” 

Gil Adotevi, Executive Director of Food and Agriculture at ADQ, added:Whether through advanced tech-enabled greenhouses in the AgTech Park or enhanced traditional farming at Silal, we are positioned to further progress farming in the UAE with a stronger backbone, alleviating investment requirements over the long-term. The strategic project directly complements our sustained efforts to expand local food production utilising the latest technologies that ensure safe, nutritious and sufficient food year-round. To deliver the AgTech Park at such a significant scale, we must work with multiple stakeholders, by partnering with local, regional and international experts in desert farming, agri-parks and controlled-environment agriculture solutions to ensure its success.”

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