Vertical Field Signs Pilot Agreement to Install Vertical Farms in the United Emirates

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The agreement with Emirates Smart Solutions & Technologies (ESST) is expected to expand to a large-scale multi-million dollar partnership

RA’ANANA,Israel,Jan. 20, 2021/CNW/ —Vertical Field an Israeli ag-tech company specializing in vertical farming, has signed an agreement with Emirates Smart Solutions & Technologies (ESST) a company that develops innovative agricultural projects in the Persian Gulf, to deploy pilot vertical farms as a first stage to full-scale deployments in theUnited Arab Emirates.

Vertical Field develops vertical agricultural farms that enable crops to grow in the city. Vertical Field’s unique technology enables produce to grow on a bed of soil (geoponically) inside of repurposed shipping containers. Vertical Field’s advanced technologies enable high-quality crops to grow quickly and efficiently in optimum conditions without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. These customizable urban farms can grow a range of fresh crops for supermarkets, restaurants, urban farmer’s markets, and distribution centers. Vertical Field’s technology is more efficient and less wasteful than conventional agricultural methods, using 90% less water, and growing precise quantities of produce in a controlled environment.

Produce inside Vertical Field’s containers can therefore grow 365 days a year, are not limited to seasonality constraints, weather conditions, extreme climate events, or geographic location. The farms are modular, expandable, and moveable, and can be managed automatically. Produce is grown in a sterile container with minimal human interference. Crops that are currently grown in the farm include: several varieties of lettuce, basil, parsley, kale, mint, and more, which are sold at competitive prices.Within the framework of the UAE agreement, Vertical Field will conduct a pilot project that will ascertain the most suitable crops for the local market. The project will be conducted with the professional support and oversight of the Company’s Israeli agronomists. The vertical farm is designed to provide local and on-site produce that is free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers for both commercial establishments as well as the private sector. The first stage of the project will be launched in theUnited Arab Emirates, and is expected to expand into a multimillion dollar partnership that will include deployments in additional states of the Gulf region.

The first farm will be installed inUmm Al Quwainas part of a research, development, and training center, which is expected to support additional projects in the rest of the Gulf states.According to the market research firm Markets and Markets, in 2020, the vertical farming industry reached$2.9 billionand is expected to reach$7.3 billionby 2025. Approximately 80% of the agricultural consumption in the Emirates is imported from around the world, equivalent to over$10 billion(2018). The rising costs of shipping food as well as an increased desire for food security and regional independence has played a strong role in the development of the ESST-Vertical Field partnership.

Guy Elitzur, CEO of Vertical Field said: “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. The Makalde Group brings forty years of experience and wide knowledge in the field of agricultural inputs and resources and we bring the innovative technology. Arid desert regions face many challenges surrounding the production of high-quality agricultural produce at low prices. With the help of various agricultural technologies and new developments we believe that we can successfully align the demands of the market with competitive prices without compromising quality- and most importantly with increased access and availability.

Maher Makalde, CEO and Partner of ESST said: “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. 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.”

About Verticval Field

Vertical Field is an Israeli agtech company that develops innovative vertical growing solutions for the urban ecosystem. The company, which was founded in 2006, has developed proprietary soil-based platforms that enable plants to grow efficiently indoors and outdoors- for both agricultural and smart landscaping purposes. The company employs multidisciplinary professionals, experts, researchers, and agronomists for the development of smart growth solutions that combine strategic design and development, a smart monitoring system, a unique soil-based platform, and automated irrigation and lighting for optimum efficiency and quality.

About ESST

ESST was established in partnership with Maher Makalde, the CEO of the Makalde Brothers LTD from Baqa al-Gharbiyye, which brings together Israeli technology and knowledge with local partners who contribute local experience and additional financial resources, with the overall goal of establishing technological innovation and fresh, high-quality produce to the region.

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