Friday 5 June 2020

Pure Harvest Smart Farms set for big UAE expansion

ABU DHABI, April 4, 2020

UAE-based Alliances for Global Sustainability (AGS) said it has entered into a strategic land, capital and advisory partnership with Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a leading tech-enabled agribusiness. 
This strategic partnership will pave way for acquisition of an area of over 300,000 sq m in Al Ain region, which will be used for the imminent expansion of Pure Harvest Smart Farms’ proprietary high-tech controlled environment agriculture solutions. 
Pure Harvest designs, builds and operates climate-controlled growing systems that convert natural sunlight into premium quality, pesticide-free fresh fruits and vegetables.
The company had previously received venture financing to fund its ‘proof of concept’ high-tech farm from the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, Shorooq Investments, its technology partners and a consortium of angel investors from across the world.
As the Middle East’s first commercial-scale, semi-automated high-tech greenhouse, Pure Harvest leverages innovative growing technologies and horticultural best practices to enable year-round production of affordable, cleaner-than-organic fresh produce.
The strategic partnership with AGS is aimed at delivering large-scale production of sustainably-grown, delicious and affordable fresh produce in the UAE.
Under this agreement, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the founder and chief executive of AGS, will join Pure Harvest’s advisory board as an investor and ‘sustainability advisor’.
Sheikha Shamma said AGS was committed to continuously exploring new opportunities that drive the sustainable development of the UAE. 
With food security being one of the most important components in ensuring the nation’s resilience, we believe that our partnership with Pure Harvest will create real impact for our citizens, residents and future generations, she added.
Sheikha Shamma said: "It’s inspiring to see the ingenuity of home-grown entrepreneurs that have brought to life incredible ideas, such as these high-tech greenhouses in one of the harshest climates in the world."
"Through this strategic collaboration, we are making great strides to advance Abu Dhabi’s position as a leader in agri-tech innovation, and I am proud to be supporting and advising Pure Harvest in the next step of its expansion. My hope is that we catalyze similar ventures to support our common goal here in the region," he stated.
UAE Minister of State for Food Security Mariam Almheiri said: "Food security has always been a top priority for the UAE leadership, who has been adamant to ensure that all members of our community have secure and consistent access to healthy, nutritious, sufficient and affordable food at all times."
"Our office together with all our stakeholders developed the National Food Security Strategy in 2018 to achieve among many other targets a sustainable domestic food supply across the value chain, targeting a 30 per cent yield improvement from new technology-enabled production methods," stated the minister.
Almheiri said this kind of project and these partnerships were formed to increase food production, moving from the proof-of-concept phase to concrete, innovative hi-tech projects with proven business scalability and commercial viability.
“The adoption of technology supports food production with minimal use of precious resources, such as water,” she added.
Almheiri pointed out that such projects were essential to enhance domestic production and meet market needs of fresh and nutritious foods. 
"It will further our agricultural resilience to overcome all challenges from climate change and desertification to water scarcity," she noted.
Pure Harvest Smart Farms Founder and CEO Sky Kurtz said: "Conversations with Sheikha Shamma’s AGS began in late-2017. We share a belief that innovative technologies can help the region to tackle some of its biggest challenges, including climate-driven limitations to domestic food production economics and sustainability."
"Over the past two years and through two harsh summers, we have proven that economically viable year-round, local production of sustainably-grown fresh fruits and vegetables is not only possible, but also we can have comparative advantage in doing so," explained Kurtz.
"Sheikha Shamma shares our passion for the sustainable development of the UAE and its people, consistent with the vision established by her beloved great-grandfather and the UAE’s founding ruler Late Sheikh Zayed," he added.-TradeArabia News Service


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