Partnership solidifies position as the GCC region’s leading high-tech, controlled-environment agriculture venture, with 22 hectares (54 acres) of sustainably-grown fresh fruits & vegetables production — strongly-positioned for future expansion

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, (June 1, 2022): Pure Harvest Smart Farms announced that it is forming an alliance with Al Dahra Group by acquiring BayWa’s controlling interest in the Al Dahra BayWa joint venture, which currently operates a large-scale, 11-hectare high-tech controlled-environment agriculture production facility.  The Al Dahra BayWa project was an early and important contribution to the UAE’s food security and sustainability objectives.  It represents a successful partnership between a globally recognized international project developer (BayWa) and the UAE’s leading agribusiness & food security incumbent (Al Dahra).  BayWa’s successful development of the Al Dahra BayWa project and its transition to a new, permanent owner-operator (Pure Harvest) is consistent with BayWa’s successful development strategy within its renewable energy business.  This transaction represents the largest investment to-date in the fast-emerging GCC controlled-environment agriculture ecosystem.

The parties share a vision to make locally grown, high-quality, safe and sustainable fresh produce available anywhere, embracing the challenge of food security as a global issue that can only be solved through technology, investment, and collaboration.  By combining forces, the parties can better serve the market, leveraging Pure Harvest’s proprietary technologies and growing methods to improve productivity, while at the same time combining resources for further research, development and innovation.

The newly formed Pure Harvest Al Dahra joint venture partnership increases Pure Harvest Smart Farms’ total operating capacity under management to over 22 hectares (54 acres).  Further, Pure Harvest and Al Dahra will invest additional capital to enhance the farm’s capabilities, as well as expand its production capability into new crops to serve consumers.  The three parties will continue to collaborate together to further food security and food infrastructure projects both in the UAE and in new markets, which could include additional production assets, renewable energy infrastructure projects, and other investments.

This transaction firmly places Pure Harvest Smart Farms and its new partner Al Dahra as the region’s most formidable high-tech, controlled-environment agriculture player.  The partners have a shared vision to continue to champion food security, water conservation, economic diversification and sustainability objectives for the country, and together we will investigate both UAE and international expansion opportunities in the future.

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Climate change amplifies the challenges of water scarcity and limited arable land that have a negative impact on agriculture and food security in the UAE. Therefore, we seek to leverage state-of-the-art AgTech and innovative cultivation methods, such as controlled-environment agriculture, to maximize yields, optimize resource use, and reduce emissions with the aim of addressing the critical water-food-energy nexus. I am confident the new partnership will go a long way in boosting local agricultural production while enhancing the quality and variety of homegrown produce. The project supports the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy as well as our mission of transforming the UAE into a global hub for innovation-driven food security and a leading exporter of sustainable agricultural solutions.”

Speaking on this announcement, Sky Kurtz, Founder & CEO of Pure Harvest Smart Farms shared, “We are thrilled about this new partnership.  We have always admired the Al Dahra BayWa project’s scale and immense market potential, as well as the existing owners’ collective global reach in agribusiness, renewable energy, building materials, and other sectors directly relevant to our global controlled-environment agriculture ambitions.  By combining forces, we can improve our shared ability to serve existing customers, but also improve our capability to deliver new projects both in the GCC and other parts of the world.  Pure Harvest is now at the scale that it can partner with formidable, global enterprises, making-possible much greater impact on the world.  We are proud of how far we have come and look forward to entering new markets together.”

Gianluca Fabbri, Group Chief Financial Officer for Al Dahra Group, added: “Al Dahra is grateful for the longstanding and successful development partnership with BayWa, and we are already exploring collaboration in other markets.  We are delighted to be entering this new partnership with Pure Harvest Smart Farms. Their innovative technologies, strong management team and world-class engineer team coupled with an incredibly fast growth trajectory have impressed us.  We look forward to our future working together to deliver a more secure food future.

We believe current food security issues require new technologies to unlock economical and sustainable local production. This new strong partnership in the controlled-environment agriculture sector is an exciting and innovative piece of the overall solution.  Aldahra and Pure Harvest, leveraging on both partners capabilities and assets, can scale up further such innovation in the UAE.  Together Pure Harvest and Aldahra can now also capture synergies in the international markets leveraging on both capable teams and footprints.”

Finally, Georg Czerny, Managing Director leading BayWa’s interests in the project, contributed, “This project was an early, important contribution to the UAE’s food security and sustainability objectives, and a wonderful partnership between BayWa and Al Dahra.  We are proud of what we accomplished together and pleased to be transitioning this large-scale production facility to a capable new, permanent owner-operator of our development strategy within our global renewable energy business.  We will continue to work with both Pure Harvest and Al Dahra in many capacities, including renewable energy infrastructure, food infrastructure, and building materials supply, strengthening our shared vision for a more sustainable global food system.”

In January, Pure Harvest Smart Farms was ranked #2 in Forbes Middle East’s “50 Most-Funded Startups In MENA” for securing over $280 million of capital since the company’s inception. The company remains focused on delivering innovative food systems that make-possible local, sustainable fruit and vegetable production, overcoming even the harshest environmental conditions.

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About Pure Harvest Smart Farms

Pure Harvest Smart Farms is a mission-driven technology-enabled agribusiness headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, focused on year-round, sustainable production of premium-quality fresh fruits & vegetables. As innovators of the Middle East’s first commercial-scale, semi-automated high-tech hybrid growing system, Pure Harvest leverages innovative growing technologies & horticultural best practices to enable local-for-local production of affordable, sustainably-grown, clean fresh produce anywhere. Pure Harvest is pioneering controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) in the MENASA region, harnessing technology to tackle some of the region’s biggest problems, including food security, water conservation, economic diversification, and sustainability needs. For more information, please visit www.pureharvest.ae.

About BayWa

BayWa is a globally active group with the core segments of Energy, Agriculture and Building Materials. As a global player, it develops leading projects and solutions for the basic human needs of food, energy and building. The headquarters of the parent company, which was founded in 1923, are in Munich. Today, BayWa group has more than 22.000 employees in almost 50 countries worldwide. Traditionally, the core markets are in southern Germany and Austria, but BayWa’s international expansion has increased significantly in recent years, as part of its growth strategy. Today, BayWa is one of the global leading agricultural commodities traders and one of the leading project development companies for renewable energies in the world.

About Al Dahra

Al Dahra is a prominent multinational leader in agribusiness, specializing in the cultivation, production and trading of animal feed and essential food commodities with end-to-end supply chain management capabilities. Serving a large customer base from Government to Commercial sectors, Al Dahra has a widespread geographic footprint, operating in over 20 countries and catering to more than 45 markets with a leading position in Asia and the Middle East. The group manages and operates a land bank of more than 400,000 acres, in addition to 15 state-of-the-art forage processing and baling facilities. It has the capacity to produce and supply 3 million metric tons of Alfalfa and Grasses annually, catering for the needs of the dairy and cattle industries. Al Dahra is also a prominent player in the production, packaging, marketing and distribution of rice and other grains, operating two rice mills with the capacity to produce 260,000 tons and trade 500,000 tons of rice annually and two flour mills with the capacity to produce 550,000 tons of flour annually. In addition, Al Dahra owns and operates 300,000 tons of strategic grains stocks in the Port of Fujairah, UAE. Moreover, the group has made considerable investments within the logistics and supply chain sector. For more information, visit www.aldahra.com