The hi-tech hub aims to triple the UAE’s food production.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled in Dubai the forward-thinking Food Tech Valley Dubai, a major new food technology hub set to act as a “global destination” for enterprising businesses and a key driver of the emirate’s economy.
He said the “city” would help further develop vertical farming and other advanced agriculture technologies and bolster the UAE’s food security.
The state-of-the-art centre aims to triple the UAE’s food production and make the country more self-sustainable.
It was developed through a partnership between the Ministry of Food and Water Security and Wasl Properties.
“It will host Research and Development facilities, an innovation centre, a smart food logistics hub and areas for vertical farming. The UAE’s food trade exceeds AED 100 billion ($27.2) annually. Our country is a global food logistics hub, and we will work to create a nurturing environment for agribusinesses to develop new farming technologies and enhance our future food security.” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“Food Tech Valley is part of a series of projects that aim to sustain the UAE’s food, water and agricultural systems in line with the National Food Security Strategy. Food and medicine represent strategic sectors that help us ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for the next generation.” he added.
HH Sheikh Mohammed was joined at the launch by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Minister of State for Food Security, HE Mariam Al Mheiri.
A huge stride forward for food security goals
To HE Ms Al Mheri, the Food Tech Valley was critical to the goal of achieving self-sufficiency and conserving essential resources.
“The Food Tech Valley project represents an instrumental stride towards enhancing food security and will serve as a global destination for expertise in the entire food ecosystem. It will also be an economic zone, which is particularly significant considering that the size of the AgTech market is projected to grow from $13.5 billion to $22 billion over the next four years.” she said.
“We seek to adopt and develop the latest methods for smart agriculture and food production, rationalise water use, accelerate basic food self-sufficiency, and share our successful experiences with countries around the world. This will help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and safeguard the future of forthcoming generations.”
UAE leading food security drive
The UAE has been at the forefront of international efforts to enhance food security through embracing new technologies and partnering with leading firms in the growing agri-tech sector.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Investment Office provided $100 million (AED 367m) to partner agricultural technology companies AeroFarms, Madar Farms, RNZ and RDI to build agritech research and development facilities, and production centres in Abu Dhabi.
“Agritech will help to increase our domestic food production while minimising the use of water, one of the scarcest resources in our region. Reducing water consumption through vertical farms can also have a very positive economic and environmental impact” said Minister of State for Food Security Mariam Al Mheiri.