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PIF and AeroFarms to build indoor vertical farms across Mena

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The first farm in Saudi Arabia will have an annual production capacity of up to 1.1m kg of agricultural crops

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 lands, through indoor vertical farming, state-owned Saudi Press Agency reported. The move will result in significantly higher yields and use up to 95 percent less water versus traditional field farming.

The partnership is expected to enable sustainable, local sourcing of high-quality crops all year round, grown using AeroFarms’ innovative agriculture technology (agtech) platform.

The joint venture plans to build and operate several farms across the region in the next few years.

The first farm in Saudi Arabia, which is slated to be the largest indoor vertical farm of its kind in the Mena region, will have an annual production capacity of up to 1.1 million kilogrammes of agricultural crops.

PIF is investing to localise new agricultural technologies that can benefit the local private sector, expanding its market reach and positioning Saudi Arabia as a leader in vertical farming, SPA reported.

Majed AlAssaf, head of consumer goods and retail, Mena investments division at PIF, said that the agreement with AeroFarms will help increase regional reliance on locally produced, high-quality crops grown sustainably.

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