The startup World of Farming (United Arab Emirates, hereinafter — UAE) has announced plans to launch a network of vertical farms in the Middle East and North Africa for the cultivation of animal feed, which will significantly reduce the need for imports. The project is being financed by the Hatch and Boost venture company, which intends to raise at least $ 2 million by the end of this year. In the new vertical farms, artificial intelligence technologies will be used to optimize the resulting product depending on the needs of dairy and meat producers. In addition, they will have a noticeably smaller carbon footprint and consume less water and space.
The transition to vertical farming is especially important for the UAE and other countries experiencing an acute shortage of arable land. Hydroponics, drip irrigation and indoor cultivation will also help the country to protect itself from shocks in the global market caused by a pandemic, political crises or extreme climatic conditions.
Considering that feed can account for more than 60% of the current expenses of livestock enterprises, vertical farming can be a solution for creating a sustainable food system in the UAE. In addition to vertical farms, silage and processed food waste can act as animal feed.