Sunday Wrap-Up: Saudi Arabia Sees Increasing Activity in Indoor Farming

Every week discover a complete recap of the week in indoor farming.

Exploring the Latest Developments in Indoor Farming with AgriHub, AmplifiedAg & Artechno Growsystems

Good morning readers, Nadec and Pure Harvest Smart Farms announced their partnership to bring fresh produce to Saudi Arabia. The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia also entered into a joint venture with AeroFarms to establish indoor vertical farms in the region.

Furthermore, Plenty Unlimited Inc. announced plans to build the world’s largest vertical farming research center in Wyoming.

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This Week in Indoor Farming

Nadec and Pure Harvest Smart Farms have joined forces to bring fresh, high-quality produce to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The companies plan to deliver 27 hectares of production in the near term, with the potential for further expansion. Pure Harvest will construct, manage and maintain high-tech, climate-controlled hybrid food production systems to produce fruits and vegetables without pesticides. The partnership will utilize Nadec's existing infrastructure, far-reaching distribution network, and trusted consumer brands.

The first project was completed and commissioned on December 29, 2021, producing over 15 varieties of hydroponic-grown tomatoes in a 6-hectare climate-controlled growing system. The partnership aims to aid the shift towards greater food security, water conservation, economic diversification, and sustainability in the Kingdom and the GCC region. Pure Harvest's growing systems produce low water consumption, powered by Nadec's renewable energy and waste heat from existing infrastructure. The partnership brings Pure Harvest's expertise in controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) to the Kingdom, and both companies are committed to providing local-for-local high-quality, pesticide-residue-free, and healthy fruits and vegetable production to the people of Saudi Arabia. Over the next five years, Pure Harvest aims to deploy substantial production capacity and grow a wide range of crops, while Nadec will market the products to its consumer base.

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The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia has entered into a joint venture agreement with AeroFarms to establish indoor vertical farms in Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The partnership aims to increase the regional food supply while optimizing the use of natural resources in a sustainable manner. The indoor vertical farms will be equipped with the latest technologies, enabling the growth of the food and agriculture sector and localizing technology to benefit the private sector industry participants.

The joint venture between PIF and AeroFarms will play a crucial role in the growth and diversification of the Saudi Arabian economy. AeroFarms, with its strong track record of large-scale commercial farming, will bring its proprietary AgTech platform to the partnership, further enhancing its capabilities. The first large-scale commercial farm in Saudi Arabia is set to have an annual production capacity of up to 1.1 million kgs of crops, with plans to build and operate several other indoor vertical farms in the near future. The partnership aligns with PIF’s strategy to develop and enable critical sectors, including food and agriculture, which will improve the trade balance and position Saudi Arabia as a leader in vertical farming.

Plenty Unlimited Inc. has announced its plan to build the world’s largest and most advanced vertical farming research center in Laramie, Wyoming. The project has received a significant boost of $20 million in funding from the State of Wyoming, the City of Laramie, and the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance (LCBA). The new research center will be 60,000 square feet, effectively doubling Plenty’s current research space, and will be located on 16 acres of land in the Cirrus Sky Technology Park.

The research center is expected to bring 125 new jobs in science, research, engineering, and data analysis. It will work closely with universities, startups, and vendors to advance Wyoming’s indoor farming research ecosystem. Governor Mark Gordon expressed his pride in Wyoming’s investment in the growth of a company that originated in the state. He stated that the new research center would elevate Wyoming’s reputation as a world leader in indoor agricultural research and provide a remarkable chance to bolster a cutting-edge R&D cluster, diversifying the state’s economy. The project is set to move into the design phase with plans to begin construction later in 2023 and open early 2025.

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