A commercial-scale tomato indoor farm using only LED lights to grow fresh tomatoes will begin operation in Abu Dhabi later this year, as part of Madar Farms’ investment in a new multi-million-dirham farming facility.
Announced during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, UAE-based Madar Farms has partnered with Certhon, Inno-3B, and Signify to operate the 5,000 square metre facility currently under construction at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). The signing of the contract between Madar Farms and Certhon took place at the Madar Farms pavilion during the Dutch trade mission, and was witnessed by Dutch Ambassador Lody Embrechts and Dutch Agricultural Advisor Erik Smidt.
Abdulaziz AlMulla, CEO and co-founder of Madar Farms (right) shakes hands with Damion Schwarzkachel, Consulting Sales Engineer, Architect at Certhon after signing a contract agreement
Dutch tech for microgreens and tomatoes
The tomato farm was completely designed, during an intensive development process, by the Dutch firm Certhon. The facility will be installed with ultra-efficient Philips GreenPower LED fixtures from Signify, also from the Netherlands. The growth technology is based on Certhon’s own cooling and automation systems.
Several successful trials have been completed for Madar Farms in Certhon’s own Innovation Centre to test and optimize ideal cultivation recipes. As part of its commitment to sustainable farming methods, the tomatoes will be grown using a water-efficient system. Madar Farms will use 30% less water per kilogram of tomatoes compared to other high-tech tomato greenhouses.
Udo van Slooten, Business Leader Horticulture at Signify, said: “We are very excited about our collaboration with Madar Farms. It’s great to work with partners just as committed to sustainable horticulture as we are, and we’re looking forward to helping them increase growth predictability, crop quality and yields, while growing sustainably all year-round.”
Certhon CEO, Hein van der Sande said: “By providing our indoor farm solutions to Madar Farms, Certhon is very proud to enable sustainable year-round local food-security and food-safety across the UAE. Based on our customized horticultural solutions, Madar Farms can grow high quality fruits and vegetables using minimal water resources for local off-take markets.”
Vertical farming technology
As part of the new facility, Madar Farms will triple the quantity of microgreens it currently produces, as well as growing a wider variety of products. Using Inno-3B technology already in use in Canada, Madar Farms uses an automated, vertical farming system to grow its microgreens indoors in ideal conditions year-round which are consistent.
Inno-3B CEO, Martin Brault said: “We are very excited to bring our technology to Abu Dhabi. We believe that this will be the first of many projects to come in the Middle East. We thank Madar Farms for the opportunity and we are looking forward to developing a long term relationship with them.”
Growing demand for local produce
Abdulaziz AlMulla, CEO and co-founder of Madar Farms, said: “Our new state-of-the-art farming facility is a milestone moment for Madar Farms. As the population in the UAE continues to grow and there’s more focus on sustainability, the new farm will help to meet this increasing demand and give UAE consumers more options to enjoy the best quality fresh locally-grown produce.
“Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) is the ideal location for the new farm. Situated half-way between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we will be able to transport our daily harvests to each Emirate in just hours rather than days.”
ABC Westland 555
P.O. Box 90
2685 ZH Poeldijk
Tel: +31 174 22 50 80
Fax: +31 174 22 50 81