A new vertical farming partnership is set to enter the UAE market as leading systems vendors IGS signs a partnership deal with AgTech R&D experts and growers Madar Farms. A local Emirati company, based in Abu Dhabi, Madar Farms has already developed a range of premium quality indoor grown crops to supply into the local UAE retail market and this deal will allow it to scale its operations.
The deal is the first to introduce the IGS indoor growing systems to the UAE and will help move forward Madar Farms’ vision to create sustainable food supply channels for a growing population while reducing demands on scarce water supplies. With five Growth Towers initially planned, each standing at six metres high, this offers a growing space of up to 1500m2 and the ability to produce up to 30 tonnes of crop per annum.
Madar Farms has selected the IGS plug-and-play vertical farming platform after rigorous competitive market assessment to significantly enhance the quality and quantity of produce it can supply to businesses and leading retailers across the region. Initially, commercially-sold produce will include a range of premium leafy greens and herbs, which will be enhanced by other crop varieties in the near future.
The partnership will also allow a greater capacity for research and development, particularly in the propagation of tomato seedlings, which is a significant focus in region. Madar Farms will utilise the high levels of precision in the IGS system to enhance early-stage quality seedling production which would then be moved into an indoor growing environment to complete the full growth cycle. This would ensure predictable growth of high-quality tomato plants with the greatest level of consistency and flavour, without using any pesticides. As the IGS system continually recycles water, it will also minimise water usage. IGS has recently partnered with experienced growers to undertake similar trials in its growing environments of strawberries and seed potatoes, with excellent results.
IGS CEO, David Farquhar, commented: “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,” commented Abdulaziz AlMulla, Madar Farms Founder and CEO.
He added: “This is a very exciting time for both organisations and reinforces the need for precision-engineered vertical farming systems and the part they can play in feeding the expanding populations of the countries in the GCC.”
The installation of the system for Madar Farms is due to begin later this year and the Growth Towers should be operational in November 2021.
IGS collaborates with International Real Estate Partners (IREP) a multidisciplinary asset management services firm based in the UAE. In March IREPfarm was launched to introduce an end-to-end solution to introduce Agritech systems to the UAE and wider GCC