Abu Dhabi Investment Office invests US$41m in 3 agri-tech firms to promote desert agriculture

Trees are growing in dry ground Concept Forest and nature conservation

UAE – The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has invested US$41 million in India- based fresh meat and fish e-tailer FreshToHome and two other agritech companies -Pure Harvest and Nanoracks- to promote development of desert agriculture

ADIO’s recent investment follows upon a previous US$100 million investment made by ADIO in April of this year in AeroFarms, Madar Farms, RNZ, and Responsive Drip Irrigation (RDI).

ADIO at the time said that the investments were aimed at bringing next generation agricultural research and production to the desert.

The new investments according to Deal Street Asia will be used by the food companies to develop cutting-edge projects in Abu Dhabi with the intent of boost the emirate’s agriculture technology capabilities.

Innovation in agriculture is particularly crucial for the emirate which is hungry for innovative ways to feed a burgeoning population projected to reach 1.6 million by 2030.

According to ADIO’s, the three firms will receive financial and non-financial incentives totaling to the said amount which they will then use to widen their operations in Abu Dhabi as well as gain access to its innovation ecosystem and infrastructure.

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“Innovations from the companies we partnered with earlier this year are already propelling the growth of Abu Dhabi’s 24,000 farms. Partnering with Pure Harvest, FreshToHome and Nanoracks adds a realm of new capabilities to the ecosystem across land, sea and space.”

Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, director general, ADIO

FreshToHome, a Bengaluru, India – based startup founded in 2015 offers cold chain solutions to farmers and fishermen and also provides an ecommerce platform to sell directly to consumers.

“We intend to bring our US patent pending AI-powered Virtual Commodities Exchange technology, our e-grocery platform and our nano farm aquaculture technology to Abu Dhabi, enhancing food production and distribution for the region,” said FreshToHome CEO and co-founder Shan Kadavil.

Pure Harvest is based in Abu Dhabi and focused on the production of greenhouse fruits and vegetables, while US-based Nanoracks is aiming to build a space-based farming center.

Pure Harvest plans to use the backing gained from ADIO to invest in smart farming and infrastructure technologies at its new farms in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi with the goal of optimizing growing conditions through innovations in hardware design, AI, robotics, plant science research, and desert-optimized machinery.

It will also drive R&D and the deployment of a commercial-scale algae bioreactor production facility for the production of high-quality, healthier Omega-3 fatty acids without the challenges and limitations inherent with animal sourcing.

Nanoracks, on the other hand, is working to advance knowledge and technology guiding food production in space or in equally extreme conditions here on Earth.

It is this space-centric research that will be applied to food production in the desert to help mitigate environmental and food security issues while also supporting long-term human space exploration.

“Innovations from the companies we partnered with earlier this year are already propelling the growth of Abu Dhabi’s 24,000 farms. Partnering with Pure Harvest, FreshToHome and Nanoracks adds a realm of new capabilities to the ecosystem across land, sea and space,” said Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, director general, ADIO.

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