Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid unveiled the forward-thinking Food Tech Valley on Saturday. The new initiative seeks to triple the UAE’s food production.
“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,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The Food Tech Valley will host vertical farms, an advanced smart food logistics hub, Research & Development (R&D) facilities and a marketplace.
Driven by a circular economy model, the city will bring together companies, investors, and researchers in a sustainable agribusiness ecosystem to develop the latest aquaculture and hydroponics technologies, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
Over 300 varieties of crops will be produced in the new city using modern farming techniques and the latest agri technologies.
The city is established on the basic principles of establishing flexible legislative frameworks for the food industry, leveraging joint collaborations and global trade networks to reach markets, and providing immediate and comprehensive services for food processing companies in Dubai at competitive costs.
It will develop new solutions to solve multiple challenges facing the food sector including weak adoption of modern agri-technologies, lack of skilled workforce in agriculture and low competitiveness of local products.
The food hub will be made up of four main clusters: agricultural technology and engineering, a food innovation center, R&D facilities, and an advanced smart food logistics hub.
According to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment's 2019 figures, the UAE has more than 177 advanced farms that use modern agricultural technologies and hydroponics, and over 100 entities that implement organic farming across the UAE.
These facilitate the growth of locally sourced produce all year-round and reduce reliance on seasonal farming.