AeroFarms and the Public Investment Fund Sign Joint Venture Agreement in Saudi Arabia; David Rosenberg and Majed AlAssaf Detail
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - A tactical agreement has been formed as the Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced it has signed a joint venture agreement with AeroFarms to establish a company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that will build and operate indoor vertical farms in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
“Our mission is to grow the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity, and we created AeroFarms to help solve the greatest agriculture challenges and increase food resiliency around the world,” said David Rosenberg, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AeroFarms. “We are excited to partner with PIF to build our first large-scale commercial farm in Saudi Arabia, where the growing conditions are challenging with limited access to fresh water and arable land, and we envision building together smart indoor vertical farms throughout the broader MENA region.”
As noted in a recent press release, the agreement will optimize the utilization of natural resources, including water and agricultural lands, through the implementation of indoor vertical farming, with no need for arable land, resulting in significantly higher yields and using up to 95 percent less water versus traditional field farming. In addition, the alliance is expected to enable sustainable, local sourcing of high-quality crops year-round, grown using AeroFarms’ proprietary smart agriculture technology platform, which helps solve broader supply chain needs in the industry.
The duo plans to build and operate several farms across the region in the next few years, with the first one in Saudi Arabia. The first farm is anticipated to be one of the largest indoor vertical farms of its kind in the MENA region and is expected to have an annual production capacity of up to 1.1 million kg of agricultural crops.
As the release explained, PIF is investing to localize new agricultural technologies that can benefit the local private sector, expanding its market reach and positioning Saudi Arabia as a leader in vertical farming.
“The agreement with AeroFarms will lead to the establishment of indoor vertical farms in Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region, increasing regional reliance on locally produced, high-quality crops grown in a sustainable way using the latest technologies,” Majed AlAssaf, Head of Consumer Goods and Retail, MENA Investments Division at PIF, said. “PIF is enabling the growth of the food and agriculture sector and localizing technology that can benefit private sector industry participants.”
Where will this cutting-edge joint venture take these two companies in the vertical farming arena? Stick with ANUK as we report.