Dubai agtech Sokovo has penned a deal to build an environmentally-friendly vertical farm that will grow thousands of tonnes of healthy produce annually.

Fresh kale, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes will be some of the fruit and veg grown on the state-of-the-art 100,000 sq ft farm, designed to supply supermarkets, hotels and chefs across the country. One of the design elements, a retractable sunroof, will enable power from natural light to be harnessed, reducing electricity consumption.

Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, which is working in collaboration with Sokovo, said: “Growing melons, tomatoes, strawberries and kale in an arid climate with limited water and arable land should be impossible, but the UAE’s commitment to innovation-driven food security shows anything is possible.”

Cutting edge processing and sorting equipment capable of sanitising and packing products will drive a fast and efficient farm-to-fork delivery system.

Saud Abu Al-Shawareb added: “Food security is a national priority, and the expansion of technology-driven sustainable farming is vital to build and scale resilient production systems that can grow fresh and healthy produce.”

Chefs’ Manifesto

Achieving food security is a global challenge, and one chefs have an important role to play in to progress UN Sustainable Goal 2 (SDG2) – to zero hunger. Paul Newnham heads up the SDG 2 Advocacy Hub, an initiative bringing together NGOs, advocacy groups, civil society, the private sector, and UN agencies to coordinate global campaigning and advocacy to achieve SDG2. As part of this the SDG2 Hub facilitates a network of 800 chefs from 80 countries to support chef action on the SDGs. Chefs are equipped with a simple set of actions called the Chefs’ Manifesto, to drive progress on the Global Goals.

Paul spoke about these initiatives on the Inside Ideas podcast with Marc Buckley – watch below.

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