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ABU DHABI, 28th February, 2022 — Silal, Abu Dhabi’s leading fresh produce and agri-tech company, and AeroFarms, a Certified B Corporation and leader in indoor vertical farming, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to forge a long-term research and development collaboration involving knowledge and technology transfer of advanced farming systems to local farmers. Under the MoU, both parties will assess opportunities to transfer technology and data analytics capabilities from high-tech farming systems to improve yield, reduce cost and waste, and enhance environmental sustainability practices in agriculture across the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Both entities will also work across priority research areas to benefit the local food supply and market dynamics, including seedling quality improvement and crop diversification. Speaking about the collaboration, Salmeen Obaid Alameri, CEO of Silal, referenced the importance of R&D to Abu Dhabi’s agriculture sector, saying, “One of our standing pillars at Silal is exploring innovative ways to increase local production, through R&D projects and collaboration with programmes that foster growth. By working together with AeroFarms, we will explore localised advanced farming techniques that will enable local farmers to produce better, smarter, and more sustainably, bringing far-reaching benefits for producers and consumers. Our collaboration is another monumental step for Silal in its efforts to drive, deliver and safeguard the high-quality food supply for the UAE and its people.” “AeroFarms is excited to partner with world-class leaders such as Silal to create innovative agricultural breakthroughs to improve the food system in the UAE,” stated David Rosenberg, Co-Founder and CEO of AeroFarms. The collaboration will improve the genetics and seedling quality of vegetable and fruit varieties to become more resilient and tolerant to extreme growing conditions. The quality of a seedling is an essential factor for crop establishment, growth, and yield. The partnership will also focus on evaluating and testing crops that have large consumer demand such as chilli pepper, capsicum, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, broccoli, courgette, melons, eggplant, strawberry, and blueberry. In addition, both parties may also look to work with international consortia and initiatives to develop new genotypes of crops that have the compatible genetic traits to be produced in Abu Dhabi. The trials and experiments on the crops will be conducted at AeroFarms AgX facility, a state-of-the-art indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, and the largest research centre of its kind in the world. Also, experiments on crops identified by both parties and which are valuable to local growers will be held in Silal’s farms. Additionally, knowledge transfer opportunities will be looked at for training, workshops, and seminars to share expertise with wider farming communities in Abu Dhabi.
AeroFarms is a member of ASABE, helping to create new industry standards.
AeroFarms is a recipient of several grants from FFAR and serves as a founding member of the Precision Indoor Plants (PIP) Consortium along with other industry leaders in indoor and precision agriculture.
AeroFarms Chief Technology Officer Roger Buelow is on the USDA-ARS Grand Challenge Advisory Board
AeroFarms serves on this committee of the USDA organized to help plant scientists understand how to use controlled environment technology effectively and consistently
AeroFarms is a founding member of the CEA Food Safety Coalition, and CMO & CoFounder Marc Oshima serves on the Board of Directors
AeroFarms is a member of OptimIA – an organization that helps integrate indoor farming into the specialty-crop segment of agriculture in the U.S.
Marketing Director Alina Zolotareva serves on the Board of Directors for the international FarmTech Society
AeroFarms is an industry advisory board member of GLASE – a public-private Consortium uniting the greenhouse technology industry.
CMO & CoFounder Marc Oshima serves on the Board of Directors of the Produce Marketing Association