- The UAE-based AgTech company announces its new multi-million dirham facility – the world’s first commercial-scale indoor farm that will use only LED lighting to grow tomatoes.
- Set to open at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) by end of 2020
- The 5,000 square-metre facility to also include an indoor, automated microgreens farm
The world’s first commercial-scale tomato indoor farm using only LED lights to grow fresh tomatoes will begin operation in Abu Dhabi later this year, as part of Madar Farms’ investment in a new multi-million-dirham farming facility.
Announced today during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, UAE-based Madar Farms has partnered with Certhon, Inno-3B, and Signify to operate the 5,000 square metre facility currently under construction at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD).
The facility, which will also grow microgreens, is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year and will triple the amount of microgreens grown by Madar Farms currently. All grown produce will be distributed locally across the UAE and available for purchase.
Having led an agriculture revolution in the UAE by using advanced methods to grow a variety of fresh produce with cutting-edge farming techniques, the farm will increase Madar Farms’ operations in developing local food for local consumption. It will also contribute towards the UAE’s goals of tackling food and water security challenges common to the region.
The tomato farm, designed by the Dutch firm Certhon will be installed with more than 5,000 ultra efficient Philips GreenPower LED fixtures from Signify, also from the Netherlands. The growing technology is based on Certhon’s proprietary cooling and automation systems.
As part of its commitment to sustainable farming methods, the tomatoes will be grown using the most water-efficient system in the world. Madar Farms will use 30% less water per kilogramme of tomatoes compared to even the highest tech greenhouses.
Abdulaziz AlMulla, CEO and co-founder of Madar Farms, said: “Our new state-of-the-art farming facility is a milestone moment for Madar Farms.
“As the population in the UAE continues to grow and there’s more focus on sustainability, the new farm will help to meet this increasing demand and give UAE consumers more options to enjoy the best quality fresh locally-grown produce.
“Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) is the ideal location for the new farm. Situated half-way between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we will be able to transport our daily harvests to each Emirate in just hours rather than days.”
As part of the new facility, Madar Farms will triple the quantity of microgreens it currently produces, as well as growing a wider variety of products. Using Inno-3B technology already in use in Canada, Madar Farms uses an automated, vertical farming system to grow its microgreens indoors in ideal conditions year-round which are consistent.
Inno-3B CEO, Martin Brault said: “We are very excited to bring our technology to Abu Dhabi. We believe that this will be the first of many projects to come in the Middle East. We thank Madar Farms for the opportunity and we are looking forward to developing a long term relationship with them.”
Udo van Slooten, Business Leader Horticulture at Signify, said: “We are very excited about our collaboration with Madar Farms. It’s great to work with partners just as committed to sustainable horticulture as we are, and we’re looking forward to helping them increase growth predictability, crop quality and yields, while growing sustainably all year-round.”
Certhon CEO, Hein van der Sande said: “By providing our indoor farm solutions to Madar Farms, Certhon is very proud to enable sustainable year-round local food-security and food-safety across the UAE. Based on our customized horticultural solutions, Madar Farms can grow high quality fruits and vegetables using minimal water resources for local off-take markets.”
About Madar Farms
Madar Farms is a local company that uses advanced methods to grow high quality fresh produce, with a mission to help solve food and water security challenges in the region.
Madar Farms aims to provide a holistic approach to sustainability by: supporting schools’ sustainability education through learning content, resources, and hands-on experiences, working with governments to inform policies, ensuring growing is sustainable, and always delivering an excellent product, developing further future solutions for food sustainability.
With head offices in Dubai and a research and development centre in Abu Dhabi, Madar Farms also runs Sustainable Futures, program for schools to empower the next generation with the awareness, knowledge, skills, and behaviors to create a sustainable future for us all.