Saudi wealth fund targets indoor farms market

Public Investment Forum (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to form a joint venture (JV) with US-based AeroFarms to build and develop a series of indoor vertical farms across the Mena region.

The first of these farms will be based in Saudi Arabia, with the capacity to build up to 1.1 million kg of crops per year, which would make it the largest such farm in the region.

Vertical farming techniques are used to grow food in smaller spaces and with 95% less water than traditional farming methods.

According to Majed al-Assaf, head of consumer goods and retail at PIF’s Mena investments division, the JV is designed to boost the kingdom’s reliance on high-quality and sustainable local produce.

Data from a 2021 Alpen Capital GCC food industry report showed that countries in the Middle East import up to 90% of their food.

“The PIF aims via the deal to strengthen the growth of the agriculture and food sector,” said al-Assaf.

©2023 funds global mena

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