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Gulfood Green 2024

01 Jun 2024

iFarm launches vertical farm in Dubai as sector tipped to reach $6.23bn in MENA

iFarm launches vertical farm in Dubai as sector tipped to reach $6.23bn in MENA

iFarm announced the launch of the Dubai’s first vertical farm using its technology.

The Dubai farm will produce ultra-fresh leafy greens, baby leaves, microgreens, herbs, and edible flowers for premium retail and HoReCa (Hotels, restaurants and catering).

According to Data Bridge, the Middle East and Africa’s vertical farming market will have reached $6.23bn by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 21.7 per cent from 2023 to 2030

Vertical farm in Dubai  

This growth can be attributed to several factors, including a historically high demand for locally produced food in the region.

Recent food security policies have led to a surge in high-tech farming investments and support from governments in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE.

The newly started vertical farm equipped with iFarm technologies in Dubai aims to meet the city’s need for top-quality fresh produce.

The yield will be supplied to restaurants, hotels, and resorts, as well as to retail chains such as Spinneys, Geant, Grandiose and Carrefour for further sale.

Located a 30-minute drive from the heart of Dubai, the vertical farm covers a growing area of 712 m² and is expected to yield around 3 tonnes of produce per month.

The farm will operate under the Mama Natura Greens brand.

The farm in Dubai is the first in the world to use the new iFarm Multigreens technology.

It is designed for both microgreens and full-cycle greens cultivation in a shared growing space using the ebb and flow irrigation method.

The advantages of flexible zoning allows for redistributing areas among different crops: microgreens, baby leaves, and leafy greens, depending on the current market demand, business goals, and seasonality.

Alexander Lyskovsky, CEO of iFarm, said: “Nearly a year ago, iFarm moved its headquarters to Abu Dhabi. Since then, there have been two fully operational farms built with iFarm technologies in the GCC region: Bather Smart Farm in Saudi Arabia and the newly launched Multigreens farm in the UAE.

“The Emirates has established itself as a thriving food and beverage hub where the consumption of ultra-fresh greens and herbs has grown significantly over the years.

“More and more executives of the HoReCa sector choose high-quality foods produced locally in a sustainable way.

“For example, large hotels like The Royal Atlantis consume up to 50-60kg of fresh greens per day. Currently, we are negotiating the supply of vertical farming equipment to several other customers in the Emirates.”

In 2021, the UAE’s consumption of greens amounted to 22,900 tons, with an estimated value of $49.1m.

These figures are expected to grow further, driven by the expanding urban population, increasing economic prosperity, and the growth of the expat community.

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