Israeli agricultural start-up Vertical Field signs agreement in UAE

Within the agreement, Vertical Field will undergo a pilot program within the UAE, which will feature farms with some of the "most suitable crops for the local market."

A Vertical Field "Urban Farm" uses BIOLED eco-lighting technology to grow produce for a Rami Levy supermarket in Bnei Brak. (photo credit: VERTICAL FIELD)
A Vertical Field "Urban Farm" uses BIOLED eco-lighting technology to grow produce for a Rami Levy supermarket in Bnei Brak.
(photo credit: VERTICAL FIELD)
Ra'anana-based Vertical Field signed an agreement with Emirates Smart Solutions & Technologies (ESST), an agricultural developer in the Persian Gulf, to deploy its proprietary vertical farms in the United Arab Emirates.
Within the agreement, Vertical Field will undergo a pilot program within the UAE, which will feature farms with some of the "most suitable crops for the local market."
The pilot itself will be conducted with the oversight of Vertical Field's Israeli agronomists. The farms will initially be deployed in the UAE to hopefully later be used in locations throughout the Persian Gulf.
“This collaborative project is a first-of-its-kind partnership that offers Vertical Field’s innovative agricultural technologies to the Emirates and the Gulf Region," said Vertical Field CEO Guy Elitzur. "The Makalde Group brings 40 years of experience and wide knowledge in the field of agricultural inputs and resources, and we bring the innovative technology.
"Arid desert regions face many challenges surrounding the production of high-quality agricultural produce at low prices," he said. "With the help of various agricultural technologies and new developments we believe that we can successfully align the demands of the market with competitive prices without compromising quality- and most importantly with increased access and availability."
"We are excited for the opportunity to partner with Vertical Field and bring advanced Israeli vertical technology that enables the growth of produce in a controlled and predictable way, overcoming harsh outdoor climate conditions, and enabling reliable, high-quality, and pesticide-free produce year-round," said CEO and Partner of ESST Maher Makalde. "Our goal is to establish food security that is independent of imports and to develop a high-quality agricultural infrastructure that reaches the retail market.”
The vertical, sustainable farms are developed by Vertical Field through the use of geoponic technology, agricultural expertise and smart design. This is especially useful in "urban food deserts," which are often lacking in available space for crop cultivation.
The vertical farms subvert this limitation by creating vertical growing platforms to essentially farm produce on walls. These greenhouse crop-fields are portable and are around the size of shipping containers ranging from 20 feet to 40 feet, which can fit right in a parking lot, allowing supermarkets and groceries to grow and sell their own home-grown produce right outside the door.
The farms come with a number of other advantages over traditional farming. Its container-like nature provides a controlled growing environment, ensuring more sterility and keeping it safe from bugs and not needing pesticides. It also allows for automated crop management, which limits human contact and allows for consistent quality.
Furthermore, it produces less waste, as well as a 90% decrease in the amount of water needed.
But perhaps most importantly, it is not limited by traditional seasons for produce, with all crops being "in season" year-round, having shorter overall growing cycles and longer shelf lives.
Idan Zonshine contributed to this report.