UAE – Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a tech-enabled agribusiness stratup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has secured a multi-stage investment commitment valued at over US$100 million with Wafra International Investment Company.

The capital injection from Wafra, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Public Institution for Social Security, makes it the largest-ever agriculture technology investment in the MENAPT region covering Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.

Wafra is also leading Pure Harvest’s US$20.6 million Series A financing round with an initial US$10 million investment, which the company said is the first step in a multi-phase regional expansion to deliver sustainably-grown fresh produce.

In connection with the investment in Pure Harvest Smart Farms, Ghazi Al-Hajeri, CEO of Wafra, will join Pure Harvest’s Board of Directors.

The strategic investment from Wafra is expected to drive the startup’s development and deployment of advanced controlled-environment agriculture solutions across the region to sustainably fresh fruits & vegetables.

Pure Harvest is building one of the region’s first hi-tech, fully climate-controlled greenhouses in the middle of the desert, near Al Ain in the UAE to grow high quality produce and sell directly to retailers regardless of outdoor climate conditions.

The company builds and operates high-tech, climate-controlled greenhouse systems that convert the region’s abundant natural sunlight into premium quality, pesticide-free fresh fruits & vegetables.

With core innovations in climate management solutions to maximize control of humidity and temperature, Pure Harvest has proven that it can create an optimal growing environment anywhere using substantially less water than traditional forms of agriculture.

“The global need for innovation in agriculture has never been greater, says Sky Kurtz, Founder & CEO, Pure Harvest Smart Farms.

“The recent COVID-19 crisis and resulting supply chain disruptions further highlight the need for sustainable local-for-local food production capacity, especially for fresh, nutrient-rich foods.

“This visionary multi-phase investment commitment from Wafra has given us the resources needed to secure our foothold as a pioneer in controlled-environment agriculture in the Middle East.”

Ghazi Al-Hajeri, CEO of Wafra notes that the Arabian Gulf food system is undergoing a monumental shift towards a technology-enabled farming model in order to meet consumer demands for affordable, high quality foods

Al-Hajeri believes that combining the local abundance of sunlight with energy & water-efficient climate management systems makes the region a compelling case as one of the best places in the world for horticulture.

“Wafra’s investment into Pure Harvest acknowledges the significant potential of controlled-environment agriculture in solving the food security challenges facing the Arabian Gulf region, including Kuwait” he said.

“We have earmarked USD $100 million to support future expansions should the company continue to perform.

“We look forward to working alongside Pure Harvest to enhance food security, water conservation and economic diversification by building a more sustainable food future for Kuwait and our entire region,” he added.