ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, announced the operational phase of its AgTech Park ecosystem with the launch of a vertical farming project in partnership with ZERO, a technology company headquartered in Italy.
The ZERO project is the first of several controlled environment agricultural concepts that will be housed in the AgTech Park and will aim to enhance indoor farming locally, as well as explore and push the boundaries of desert-climate farming in the UAE.
The ZERO project is retrofitted in a 1,000 sqm warehouse and will achieve an initial production volume of approximately 10 tons per year at the proof-of-concept stage. This pilot phase is expected to conclude in the summer of 2023, following which a 40,000 sqm commercial phase of the vertical farm is envisaged to be launched in Al Ain, alongside other projects featuring controlled-environment technologies.
The inaugural farming facility is situated in KEZAD (Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi Group), the UAE's largest operator and developer of fully integrated and specialized economic zones. KEZAD has a well-established ecosystem for food industries across the entire value chain, thereby creating a strong base for growth, both for local producers and the food industry as a whole. Additional sites exploring different technologies will be launched in Al Ain Industrial City within the coming year.
Set to strengthen the local production of crops, fruits, and vegetables for multiple applications, including fresh food, nutraceuticals, and biopharmaceuticals, the first joint project between ADQ and ZERO draws on the benefits of growing crops in vertical farms.
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