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PIF and AeroFarms to build indoor vertical farms across Mena

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) has signed a joint venture agreement with AeroFarms, a US-based sustainable indoor agriculture company, to build and operate indoor vertical farms across the wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region through a newly-established company in Riyadh. The agreement will optimise the utilisation of natural resources, including water and agricultural […]


Farming tech startup moves HQ from Europe to UAE

A Finnish tech startup is swapping the green countryside of Northern Europe for the Arabian desert as it looks to grow its urban farming business. iFarm was invited in November to join the incentive programme of Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, the technology project led by Mubadala Investment Company and backed by the Government of Abu Dhabi.  […]

Investors are increasingly interested in startups aiming to improve, expand and optimise the agricultural and food industries

Agtech startups and Egypt are hot prospects for Mena funding

Startups across the Middle East and North Africa region raised $125 million in funding in December last year, with Egyptian companies leading the pack, ahead of regional powerhouses the UAE and Saudi Arabia. A joint report by Wamda and Digital Digest showed that Egyptian startups secured $45.7 million across 11 deals in December, more than […]

OCP, Morocco's state-owned fertiliser producer, runs a mine and factory at Boucraa, site of one of the largest phosphate deposits in the world

Export deal with India tipped to boost Morocco’s fertiliser industry

Morocco is set to sign a long-term agreement with India to export rock phosphate, a key ingredient in fertiliser. The North African country is already one of the largest producers of phosphates and fertilisers, but the India deal is expected to lead to other agreements with governments around the world, according to an industry analyst. […]

Plant, Grain, Produce

Egypt plans to double exports to $100bn annually

Egypt plans to double exports to $100 billion annually by rationalising imports and labor-intensive and strategic industries, Egypt Today newspaper reported. Agricultural exports reached six million tons in 2022, up 200,000 tons from last year. Among the top crops were citrus (1.7 million tons), potato (621,900 tons) and onion (510,552). Exports of frozen strawberries have […]


Abu Dhabi’s fertiliser producer Fertiglobe refinances $900m loan

Abu Dhabi-listed fertiliser maker Fertiglobe, which counts state oil company Adnoc and OCI as major shareholders, has refinanced a $900-million bridge loan, originally due in 2024. The $900 million facility has been refinanced with new three-year $300 million and five-year $600 million term facilities at margins of 150 basis points (bps) and 175 bps respectively, […]

Morocco food

Abu Dhabi’s Dana turns focus on Moroccan agtech solutions

Dana Global, a desert tech venture builder and investment platform based in Abu Dhabi, is partnering with Agadir Horticultural Complex to help transform agriculture in Morocco. The Agadir region forms the heart of Morocco’s agricultural industry and provides 9 percent of national GDP while processing 90 percent of the country’s fresh produce market. The region […]

Food security

$5.5m initiative for food security in Mediterranean countries

A new $5.5 million package of technical assistance to improve food security in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the West Bank and Gaza has been agreed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The joint initiative, which will be launched in January, is […]


Abu Dhabi backs women-led food security startups in Mena

Dana Global, an Abu Dhabi-based venture builder and investment platform that supports women-led startups in agricultural technology (agtech) and water solutions, has announced a new partnership to tackle the food security situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Its agreement with Silal, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s $110 billion state holding company ADQ, focused […]

An Emirati farmer inspects a passionfruit on his Dubai farm. Gulf governments want to grow more food locally

GMG-Silal deal aims to dish up customers for 1,100 UAE farms

More locally grown food is set to be sold in UAE supermarkets under a link-up between retailer GMG and agri-food business Silal, a subsidiary of sovereign wealth fund ADQ. Under the deal, which was signed at last week’s Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition, up to 1,100 UAE farms contracted to Silal will be supported to […]

Turkey discusses Black Sea grain deal with Russia and Ukraine

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Black Sea grain export agreement on Sunday with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine, as both sides seek changes that would boost their exports. Turkey has acted as mediator alongside the United Nations in the grain deal, which opened up Ukrainian ports for exports after a six-month de facto […]


Irish aviation tycoon to help grow Gulf agtech startup

Irish entrepreneur Dómhnal Slattery, best known for scaling companies in the aviation sector, has been appointed a special adviser to one of the Gulf’s biggest startups, and is open to more potential investments in the region. Pure Harvest Smart Farms, the agtech startup based in Abu Dhabi, in July raised $180 million in funding from […]

A vertical farm in Sharjah. Similar facilities are being developed around the Gulf

Gulf reaches for vertical farming to bolster food security

A joint venture has been set up to develop a network of indoor vertical farms across Saudi Arabia as GCC governments seek to reduce their reliance on imported food. Mowreq Specialised Agriculture Co and biotech firm YesHealth Group have founded Vertical Farms Company, which will begin by building the kingdom’s largest indoor vertical farm in Riyadh.  The […]

The first shipment of Egyptian citrus is expected to be exported to the Philippines during the current season

Egypt to restart export of agri products to Philippines

Egypt will start exporting agricultural products to the Philippines after five years of negotiations, Reuters reported, citing the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture statement. The first shipment of Egyptian citrus is expected to be exported during the current season. Egyptian agriculture exports from January 1 to August 24, 2022, reached around 4.49 million tons, Egypt Today […]

5,000 Egyptian farm workers to head to Greece in pilot scheme

Egypt will provide 5,000 seasonal workers to help meet the growing needs of Greece’s agricultural sector under a pilot scheme agreed by the two countries. Greece’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the deal could be a “guide” for future agreements signed by Greece and the European Union (EU) with third countries to combat […]

Oman buys smart farming system from South Korea

Nongshim, a major South Korean producer of snacks and instant noodles, will export a smart farm system to Oman. The Omani government has decided to buy two units of smart farm containers worth $200,000 made by Nongshim, the Yonhap News Agency reported.  The 40-foot-long boxes will provide a total of 165 sq m of cultivation […]


Morocco aims to become the world’s premier fertiliser producer

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upset the global agricultural industry in more ways than one – but for Morocco, one of the world’s largest fertiliser producers, it has presented an opportunity. Not only were Russia and Ukraine some of the world’s most important wheat and grain exporters, but they also played a central role in […]

Slope, Nature, Outdoors
  • Analysis

Bean there, done that: Saudi takes coffee to US and Europe

Saudi Arabia is targeting some of the world’s biggest cities as part of its campaign to promote the kingdom’s burgeoning coffee sector. The Ministry of Culture said it concluded a campaign this week to introduce Saudi coffee to New York, London, Rome and Paris as the country’s Year of Saudi Coffee 2022 initiative gathers pace. […]

Samples of rice and lentils for sale at a wholesale market in Delhi

Tech startup aims to spice up India’s agriculture trade with GCC

Indian startup Ninjacart has launched Ninja Global, a new digital platform for agricultural export-import businesses in the UAE and other countries in the Gulf. Ninjacart operates in over 150 markets across agri-commodities, was valued at almost $1bn this year, and is backed by retail giant Walmart and India’s Tiger Global among others. Its Ninja Global is […]

Morocco’s farming exports rise 13%, despite drought challenges

Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has said that the volume of its exports increased by 13 percent in 2021-2022, with tomatoes and berries rising by 19 percent and 18 percent, respectively, according to a local newspaper. Despite the difficult international circumstances, the exports of market garden crops have registered good performances during the 2021-2022 […]

Saudi Arabia plans to invest $24bn to support local economy

Saudi Arabia will invest SAR 91 billion ($24.20 billion) to develop the domestic economy, Arab News reported, citing Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture. The agriculture sector contributed SAR 72 billion, or 2.3 percent, to the kingdom’s gross domestic product last year, the minister said, adding that the 2022 development fund for the […]