Sat 04-04-2020 15:45 PM
ABU DHABI, 4th April, 2020 (WAM) -- Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Founder and CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability, AGS, and Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a leading tech-enabled agribusiness, announced today that they have entered into a strategic land, capital and advisory partnership. The partnership will secure over 30 hectares of land in Al Ain area, which will be used for the imminent expansion of Pure Harvest Smart Farms’ proprietary high-tech controlled environment agriculture solutions. In conjunction with the partnership, Sheikha Shamma will join Pure Harvest’s Advisory Board as an investor and ‘Sustainability Advisor’.
Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa stated: "AGS is committed to continuously exploring new opportunities that drive the sustainable development of the UAE. With food security being one of the most important components in ensuring the nation’s resilience, we believe that our partnership with Pure Harvest will create real impact for our citizens, residents and future generations."
Sheikha Shamma continued by saying: "It’s inspiring to see the ingenuity of home-grown entrepreneurs that have brought to life incredible ideas, such as these high-tech greenhouses in one of the harshest climates in the world. Through this strategic collaboration, we are making great strides to advance Abu Dhabi’s position as a leader in agri-tech innovation, and I am proud to be supporting and advising Pure Harvest in the next step of its expansion. My hope is that we catalyze similar ventures to support our common goal here in the region."
Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food Security, said: "Food security has always been a top priority for the UAE leadership, who has been adamant to ensure that all members of our community have secure and consistent access to healthy, nutritious, sufficient and affordable food at all times. Our office together with all our stakeholders developed the National Food Security Strategy which we launched in 2018 to achieve among many other targets a sustainable domestic food supply across the value chain, targeting a 30 percent yield improvement from new technology-enabled production methods."
"This kind of project and these partnerships we are forming aim to increase food production, moving from the proof-of-concept phase to concrete, innovative hi-tech projects with proven business scalability and commercial viability," she added. "The adoption of technology supports food production with minimal use of precious resources, such as water."
"Such projects are essential to enhance domestic production and meet market needs of fresh and nutritious foods. It will further our agricultural resilience to overcome all challenges from climate change and desertification to water scarcity," Almheiri explained, noting that it constitutes one of many steps to be taken to ensure sustainable food production in the United Arab Emirates.
"Conversations with Sheikha Shamma’s AGS began in late 2017. We share a belief that innovative technologies can help the region to tackle some of its biggest challenges, including climate-driven limitations to domestic food production economics and sustainability. Over the past two years and through two harsh summers, we have proven that economically viable year-round, local production of sustainably-grown fresh fruits and vegetables is not only possible, but also we can have comparative advantage in doing so. Sheikha Shamma shares our passion for the sustainable development of the UAE and its people, consistent with the vision established by her beloved great-grandfather and the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan," said Sky Kurtz, Founder & CEO, Pure Harvest Smart Farms.
"It is impossible not to admire the visionary leadership that has brought so much prosperity over such a short time to the people of this nation, and with the partnership realized today between Pure Harvest and AGS, I feel strongly that we have taken another important step toward securing that prosperity for generations to come. As a company, we are grateful for this opportunity and will endeavor to implement our expansion strategy with a seriousness and commitment that brings value to our shareholders and benefits to the society in which we operate. The UAE’s commitment to agri-tech innovation is palpable and we are excited to be a pioneer within this emerging ecosystem," added Mr. Kurtz. "Together we have the opportunity to make an enduring, large-scale positive impact in the UAE and its neighboring countries."
The strategic land partnership with AGS will drive the Company’s deployment of advanced and sustainable high-tech greenhouses in the UAE. Pure Harvest designs, builds and operates climate-controlled growing systems that convert natural sunlight into premium quality, pesticide-free fresh fruits and vegetables. With core innovations in climate management solutions to maximize control of humidity & temperatures, Pure Harvest has proven it can maintain an optimal growing environment in harsh desert environments like the UAE while using substantially less water than incumbent farms.
Pure Harvest’s partnership with AGS furthers the late Sheikh Zayed’s vision of environmentally conscious, local cultivation of fresh fruits & vegetables. The specific site being made available to Pure Harvest holds special historic significance, having been passed down directly from the late Sheikh Zayed. Mindful of this unique heritage, Pure Harvest takes great satisfaction in deploying its proprietary growing systems in this location, not only to further the quest of the UAE’s founder to promote sustainable agriculture, but also to contribute toward the Emirate’s economic diversification.
AGS identifies projects and opportunities to develop, finance and nurture high-preforming and resource-efficient companies and projects. Through research, innovation and facilitation of outcome-based solutions yielding sustainable, profitable ventures, AGS takes entities it works with beyond mere compliance. Its projects include companies that support the circular economy, renewable energy projects and smart city development.
Pure Harvest Smart Farms previously received venture financing to fund its ‘proof of concept’ high-tech farm from the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, Shorooq Investments, its technology partners and a consortium of angel investors from across the world. Pure Harvest is now focused on fulfilling its enormous expansion plans as an early innovator in the region’s emerging controlled-environment agriculture industry.