You’ve likely heard of Tesla’s ‘Gigafactory’ in Nevada USA, but what about a ‘Gigafarm’? At COP28 this week plans have been unveiled for a 900,000 sq. ft ‘GigaFarm’ to be built in Dubai’s Food Tech Valley. An agreement between ReFarm™ and Food Tech Valley has been signed.
Capable of growing more than two billion plants and producing three million kgs of food each year, construction will begin in mid-2024 with the site expected to be fully operational by 2026. The GigaFarm will support the UAE’s move towards decarbonising food production, replacing 1% of the country’s fresh produce imports.
Dubai Food Tech Valley
Launched in 2021, the Dubai Food Tech Valley is an initiative that seeks to triple the UAE’s food production. It aims to create an integrated modern city that will serve as a hub for future clean tech-based food and agricultural products and as an incubator for researchers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and industry experts involved in developing solutions that have the potential to shape the future of the food industry.
In a global first, the new Gigafarm will see six complementary technologies collocated on the Food Tech Valley site as part of a closed-loop circular waste-to-value system, establishing a self-contained ecosystem designed to maximise resource efficiency and prevent any waste going to landfill.
ReFarm was established in the UAE by SSK Enterprise and Christof Global Impact (CGI) as a group of companies with focus on projects with circularity and clean technologies. The brand chose vertical farming technology developed by Scotland’s infrastructure supplier Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS).
HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “The United Arab Emirates’ economic growth strategy has placed a strong emphasis on diversification and sustainability, which includes developing new knowledge and capabilities in high-impact industries.
“Rethinking our food production systems is a clear priority, and the decision of ReFarm to launch a facility in Dubai’s Food Tech Valley is a significant step forwards for the development of a technologically advanced, low-carbon agricultural sector.”
Oliver Christof, CEO at Christof Global Impact (CGI), commented: “What has been achieved over the past 36 months in the UAE is a gamechanger for the sustainable food industry. A key factor for success is the open mindset by the UAE leadership and a strong focus on circularity, which allowed us to bring together various groups, including a broad variety of local stakeholders.”