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demo farm announced in Abu Dhabi

"Showcasing how to grow food in harshest conditions"

DANA Global, an Abu Dhabi-based venture builder and investment platform, announces a new partnership with Temasek-backed global irrigation and climate company - Rivulis - to establish a demo-farm to showcase sustainable farming solutions in extreme weather and arid environments at a demo farm in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

Here, Rivulis will showcase how farmers can benefit from using advanced micro irrigation and new climate farming models to address climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity loss and food security while bolstering sustainable livelihoods for growers. "This initiative represents an opportunity to introduce and train farmers on micro irrigation systems – producing more and better-quality crop yields even in harsh climates, while using less water, fertilizers, energy, and labor. This beta farm is unique in the region, showcasing Rivulis’ advanced irrigation and fertigation systems, and reflects DANA’s and Rivulis’ joint commitment to educate and help growers transition to more sustainable farming", the initiators say.

The partnership follows DANA’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Masdar City, the sustainable urban development and innovation and R&D hub in Abu Dhabi, to build its first beta site there. The beta site tests and showcases Desert-Tech solutions and Agri-Tech projects for arid environments, water scarcity, greenhouse cooling, soil cultivation and regeneration, carbon sequestration, and resilient seed varieties.

"As the world prepares to gather in the UAE at COP28, solutions addressing the threat of climate change to food production - particularly ones cultivated in the Middle East and Africa - can help feed a growing world population, vulnerable to hotter and more arid growing conditions. It is crucial for DANA and Rivulis to demonstrate solutions on ground in the real desert environment."

Nadine Benchaffai, DANA Global Venture Builder Director said: " As we unite in the pursuit of sustainability, this partnership offers Agri-Tech pioneers, such as Rivulis,as well as young startups, led by women, an exclusive gateway to unique Desert-Tech investments, cutting-edge technologies, and a chance to be at the forefront of sustainable innovation.”

Richard Klapholz, CEO of Rivulis, said: “We are forging the path for how our world will cultivate food in the generations ahead, using a combination of intelligent irrigation, new climate farming models and socio-economic initiatives. The UAE’s ‘National Food Security Strategy’ promotes food security through advanced Agri-Tech, helping the Middle East to lead the way in addressing these critical issues. That’s why we are so pleased to partner with DANA to build a permanent demo farm to serve as a long term educational and training center for growers in the region and beyond .”

Operating for over three years, DANA Global – founded by and for women – has served as venture builder and investment platform for primarily female-led desert tech startups from all over the MENA region. DANA is backed by US venture capitalists, the EU Climate Fund and private investors in the MENA region. During the past three years, DANA has partnered with the main players in the UAE agritech ecosystem including Masdar and Silal (by ADQ), ADIO, and HUB 71.

At Masdar City Beta Site, DANA is piloting and showcasing different solutions around the verticals of regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration. The collaboration with Rivulis will allow smallholder farmers as well as corporates to benefit from and apply full-scale solutions to their work and guarantee a positive improvement on climate and agriculture.

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