UAE-based agricultural technology firm Pure Harvest Smart Farms has revealed that it has made significant progress towards completing a US$4.5m seed funding round to finance a pilot greenhouse, according to Gulf Business.
The company, which announced a US$1.1m investment from Abu Dhabi’s Shorooq Investments in October, reportedly plans to establish a 3.3ha site in Nahel to create the country’s first high-tech commercial-scale greenhouse for year-round tomato production.
Pure Harvest revealed that it had completed around 60 per cent of the funding round, as well as securing investments from its advisory board, for which it announced several new appointments to help with “technology selection, operational execution, legal structuring, corporate development and strategy” as the company expands its footprint across the Middle East.
The company utilises a “semi-closed climate-controlled growing system”, which has been purpose-built to overcome the challenges of year-round production in the Gulf, the firm revealed.
The company’s pressure climate control technology, with a hybrid evaporative and mechanical cooling system to maintain optimal climate conditions, can apparently be used for a variety of crops, including tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, aubergines and strawberries.
According to earlier statements from the company, the aim of the project is to supply premium produce to retailers, airlines and hospitality distributors in order to replace imported fruit and vegetables.
“Pure Harvest’s tech-enabled approach to arid climate agriculture offers a potential ‘third-way’ through which regional actors can not only achieve a sustainable form of food security, but also eventually construct export-oriented agri-businesses that would create important new sources of foreign exchange, while supporting the diversification of regional economies,” said David Scott, president of the Investment Diplomacy Group (IDG) and executive director of economic affairs at the Executive Affairs Authority.