Israel’s Vertical Field, the developer of smart vertical farming solutions, announced an agreement last week with Emirates Smart Solutions and Technologies (ESST) to deploy its vertical farms in a pilot program as part of the first step to full-scale deployment in the United Arab Emirates.
The pilot will help to discover the most suitable crops for the local market. The vertical farm is designed to provide local and on-site produce for both the commercial and private sectors.
The first stage of the project is expected to expand into a multimillion-dollar partnership in the UAE that will include deployments in additional states of the Gulf region.
The first farm will be installed in Umm Al Quwain, one of the seven constituent emirates in the UAE, located in the northern part of the country. It will be installed as part of a research, development, and training center, which will later support additional projects in other Gulf states.
Founded in 2006, the Ra’anana-based Vertical Field uses advanced IoT software, embedded sensors, and in-house monitors to ensure its indoor vertical farms—which grow fresh vegetables, greens, and other plants—are nurtured in controlled conditions regardless of geography, physical location, weather, and climate conditions. The company says its soil-based vertical growing systems make the most efficient use of space, both indoors and outdoors, for agricultural and smart landscaping.
“This collaborative project is a first-of-its-kind partnership that offers Vertical Field’s innovative agricultural technologies to the Emirates and the Gulf Region,” said Vertical Field CEO Guy Elitzur.
He added that ESST—established in partnership with Maher Makalde, the CEO of the Makalde Brothers LTD from Baqa al-Gharbiyye—will bring to the table innovative technology and 40 years of experience in the field of agricultural inputs and resources.
“We are excited for the opportunity to partner with Vertical Field and bring advanced Israeli vertical technology that enables the growth of produce in a controlled and predictable way, overcoming harsh outdoor climate conditions, and enabling reliable, high-quality, and pesticide-free produce year-round,” said Makalde. “Our goal is to establish food security that is independent of imports and to develop a high-quality agricultural infrastructure that reaches the retail market.”
Earlier this month, Vertical Field signed an agreement with the Czech Republic-based Moderntrend SRO, one of the largest agricultural distributors in Ukraine, to set up the Israeli company’s solutions at Varus, a local grocery chain with 95 stores across 25 cities nationwide.
Last month, Vertical Field finalized a multimillion-dollar agreement with Israeli grocery chain Rami Levy to install vertical farms at dozens of the supermarket’s branches across the country over the next five years.
This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.