AeroFarms in Newark commenced construction on its AeroFarms AgX LTD vertical farm and innovation hub in the United Arab Emirates, which at 54,000 square feet will be the largest of its kind in the world.
In partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, which is focused on enabling investment opportunities in Abu Dhabi and is providing $150 million to bring global agricultural technology pioneers to Abu Dhabi, AeroFarms AgX will bring work to advance sustainable controlled environment agriculture and vertical farming and help address broader global agriculture supply chain issues in the Middle East.
AeroFarms AgX’s R&D is expected to enable new business lines, technologies and growth of the AeroFarms platform, while serving as a hub for regional expansion.
“This important milestone for AeroFarms AgX is another step in the realization of Abu Dhabi’s mission to ‘turn the desert green’. In line with this goal, ADIO is supporting innovative technology that has the potential to impact farming practices across the globe and improve the food production value chain worldwide,” said Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, director general of ADIO, in a prepared statement. “AeroFarms AgX will add to the growing capabilities of Abu Dhabi’s agriculture ecosystem while benefiting from the emirate’s plentiful land, natural heat, competitive energy prices, access to research universities, and skilled talent.”
AeroFarms AgX will employ approximately 60 engineers, horticulturists and scientists and will have high-tech laboratories conducting organoleptic research and precision phenotyping, phytochemical analysis, advanced speed breeding, as well as next-generation machine vision, machine learning, robotics, and automation. AeroFarms AgX will work with local universities on research projects aimed at solving problems of agriculture within desert and arid climates.
AeroFarms AgX is expected to be completed and operational in the first quarter of 2022.