His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the ‘Food Tech Valley’, a state-of-the-art economic, trade and research zone. “The UAE’s food trade exceeds AED100 billion annually. Our country is a global food logistics hub, and we will work to create a nurturing environment for agribusinesses to develop new farming technologies and enhance our future food security.”, said HH Shiekh Rashid in a Tweet yesterday. This is a new initiative to triple the the food production of the country.
Aimed to create an integrated modern city, Food tech Valley will serve as a hub for future clean tech-based food and agricultural products, innovators in the food sector, industry experts in sustainable food systems, waste management, an incubator for researchers, entrepreneurs, startups, and more. It also encourages the use of technologies and applied research in food processing. The “city” as referred to by the Dubai ruler would help further develop modern farming techniques like vertical farming, aquaculture, and hydroponics.
In a new report published by a leading news agency His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “Food Tech Valley is part of a series of projects that aim to sustain the UAE’s food, water and agricultural systems in line with the National Food Security Strategy. Food and medicine represent strategic sectors that help us ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for the next generation.”
This sustainable Silicon-Valley style food hub to explore a ‘future smart and food-independent city’ is the outcome of a partnership between the Ministry of Food and Water Security and Wasl Properties. Moreover, Food Tech Valley aims to achieve the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy 2051.
Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, as per the news agency, stressed that the launch of the initial phase of the Food Tech Valley is vitally important at the present time when the world needs strategic projects to achieve food self-sufficiency, while ensuring sustainability and conservation of resources. “The Food Tech Valley project represents an instrumental stride towards enhancing food security and will serve as a global destination for expertise in the entire food ecosystem. It will also be an economic zone, which is particularly significant considering that the size of the AgTech market is projected to grow from $13.5 billion to $22 billion over the next four years. The project is part of our efforts to achieve our strategic national goals with respect to food security, as it constitutes an incubator for advanced farms – including indoor and vertical farms – with more than 60% of the project’s space allocated to these activities. The project features a food innovation centre that has been designed to resemble a head of wheat and will incorporate laboratories, research centres and prototype agricultural systems. Strategically located close to universities and academic institutions, it will support the R&D ecosystem and explore and deliver sustainable solutions around food,” she added.
In a release to the media, His Excellency Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, CEO of Wasl Asset Management Group, said, “the Food Tech Valley is a state-of-the-art economic, trade and research zone in terms of its innovative ideas, advanced infrastructure, specialised role in supporting smart future societies, and diversity of options it provides to creative entrepreneurs, investors, startups, and small, medium and large companies in the food processing and production ecosystem.”
“The project provides an integrated legislative framework that facilitates new food product development and access to the market. Its competitive incentives and services enable investors to utilise local and global demand for the UAE brand and leverage Dubai’s global commercial and trade networks to achieve the desired growth,” he added.