Dubai: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and Shalimar Biotech Industries have joined hands to establish vertical farms in Dubai.

The ministry signed an agreement with the Dubai-based producer of organic soil, fertilizers and pesticides to set up the vertical farms on allocated lands within the ministry’s premises in Dubai.

Dr Thani Bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, attended the signing.

Under the terms of the collaboration, MOCCAE will allocate 7,600 square metres of land within its premises, provide Shalimar Biotech Industries with logistical support, and facilitate the services needed for the project.

Meanwhile, the company will establish 12 vertical farms on the land and develop infrastructure facilities, such as a water desalination plant, climate control air conditioning, LED lighting and automatic irrigation systems.

“The agreement leverages synergies between MOCCAE and the private sector to encourage innovation in agriculture with the aim of enhancing the UAE’s food security and diversity,” said Sultan Alwan, Assistant Undersecretary for the Regions Sector at MOCCAE.

“As vertical farming has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than traditional farming, ventures such as this one align with the country’s drive to improve its agricultural self-sufficiency,” he said.

The cooperation seeks to promote new agricultural technologies and provide an educational centre for local farmers, students and researchers. It also aims to reduce agricultural waste, the risk of infection and spread of agricultural pests in addition to achieving year-round crop production and mitigating thermal emissions from agricultural processes.

The agreement is valid for five years and shall be automatically renewed for a similar period unless one of the parties expresses the intention to terminate it.