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Sheikh Mohammed launches Food Tech Valley in Dubai

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The first phase of a new initiative that seeks to triple the UAE’s food production has been launched in Dubai, on Saturday, May 1, by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. This partnership between the Ministry of Food and Water Security and Wasl Properties aims to explore urban planning of future smart and food independent cities.

The initiative that aims at helping the UAE meet its National Food Security Strategy 2051 targets, will – in the initial phase of its launch – focus on strategic projects to achieve food self-sufficiency, while ensuring sustainability and conservation of resources, said Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security.

The Food Tech Valley will be home to four main clusters: agricultural technology and engineering, a food innovation centre, R&D facilities, and an advanced smart food logistics hub.

The agricultural technology and engineering cluster will have a vertical farm that will employ the latest food technologies to grow year-round vital crops, noted a statement issued by Sheikh Mohammed regarding the initiative. 

The food innovation centre meanwhile will provide an integrated agri-business ecosystem to incubate promising ideas and support startups and entrepreneurs. The cluster, which will have a specialised food factory to produce new foods and second-generation restaurants (restaurants 2.0), will explore models that are based on sustainability and production sufficiency to reduce consumption and wastage of resources.

The third cluster will have world-class R&D facilities to train food specialists and support food establishments. The facilities will explore the use of agri-robotics to maximise yields and drought-resistant crops. Specialised researchers will also explore the application of 3D printing in algae cultivation and alternative protein production. The R&D facilities will also study the use of AI to monitor, analyse and manage agricultural crops, and detect environmental impact and climate change.

The fourth cluster will feature a fourth-generation food storage system that provides smart and automated logistical storage services. The smart storage system will apply blockchain technologies and big data in sorting, transporting and distributing various food products. It will track food quality, origin, components, processing methods, storage and delivery to ensure efficiency of food supply chains.

The initiative aims to create an integrated modern city where over 300 varieties of crops will be produced using modern farming techniques and which will serve as a hub for future clean tech-based food and agricultural products and an incubator for researchers, entrepreneurs, startups and industry experts to develop solutions to address issued regarding food production.

As an economic zone, the Food Tech Valley is a valuable addition to the UAE’s 1,250 legislations that support agriculture and food production sectors in ensuring food safety, storage and transport. With food and beverage investments in the UAE currently totalling Dhs62bn, the initiative is expected to contribute to attracting further local and foreign direct investments within the field.

To view full article, visit https://gulfbusiness.com/sheikh-mohammed-launches-food-tech-valley-in-dubai/

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