Scottish vertical farm firm powers UAE project
Vertical farming pioneer Intelligent Growth Solutions is part of a partnership aiming to transform food production in the United Arab Emirates.
The Edinburgh-based company will provide the infrastructure for ReFarm, a consortium which will grow two billion plants a year, replacing 1% of fresh produce imports. It will also recycle more than 50,000 tonnes of food waste annually.
An agreement was signed at COP28 and construction of the 900,000 sq ft gigafarm in Dubai’s Food Tech Valley is expected to begin in the middle of next year, with expectations of it being operational in 2026.
ReFarm was established in the UAE by SSK Enterprise and Christof Global Impact (CGI) as a group of companies with a focus on projects with circularity and clean technologies.
David Farquhar, chief executive of IGS, said: “This is so much more than just another announcement about plans to build a large-scale vertical farm.”
The towers will be able to grow more than 250 varieties of plants, seedlings, and saplings, and has already grown at least 20 in just a few weeks since a demonstration farm was constructed.
The gigaFarm addresses various current concerns around cost and energy usage in vertical farms. It will be integrated with solar to minimise carbon usage.
An IGS farm uses just 1 litre of water for every 250 litres needed on a field and every 23-25 litres required in a greenhouse.