Silal and Red Sea Farms sign an agreement to deploy new technologies for sustainable desert farming

Nov 25, 2021 | General

Abu Dhabi, 25 November 2021:  Silal, Abu Dhabi’s new Agritech and fresh produce company, has reached an agreement with Red Sea Farms to apply advanced agritech solutions that help farmers grow crops in greenhouses, reducing water use by up to 95% and maximising sunlight. 

His Excellency, Eng. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO of Silal, and Mark Tester, Co-Founder and Chief Science officer of Red Sea Farms signed the agreement at a ceremony on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Security Week’s first edition, in which Silal is the Associate sponsor. The signing ceremony was attended by H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, Mansour Al Mulla, Chairman of the Chief Investment Officer at ADQ, and Gil Adotevi, Executive Director of Food and Agriculture at ADQ.

As part of the agreement, Red Sea Farms will install their cooling systems in Silal’s contracted farms, to compare them with the current practice of cooling greenhouses and assess the benefits of Red Sea Farms’ technologies based on water and energy efficiency, yield improvement, climate control performance, and commercial viability. Global Ventures, a UAE-based venture capital firm and an investor in Red Sea Farms, is funding the project.

His Excellency, Eng. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO of Silal said: “At Silal, we are keen to work with our partners and evaluate the latest agritech solutions to boost technology-enabled production of local fresh produce and reduce impact on natural resources such as water. Minimising dependence on fresh water to cool greenhouses remains one of the challenges facing farmers and crop growers in Abu Dhabi, and this agreement reiterates our commitment to empowering our contracted farmers and introducing them to the new technologies that increase their sustainability and profitability. We look forward to building a long-term partnership with Red Sea Farms to improve local farmers’ energy and water efficiency.”

Ryan Lefers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive officer of Red Sea Farms commented: “Red Sea Farms would like to congratulate Silal on being the first in the UAE to introduce our unique technology that has been designed and developed in the region. Water is a scarce resource in the region, and our approach which uses salt-water and maximises controlled use of sunlight makes farming more sustainable in the country. We are looking forward to this being the start of a valued and enduring partnership with Silal.”

This agreement comes as part of Silal’s efforts to expand collaborations that leverage technologies that help farmers improve sustainability and productivity. Under this agreement, Silal will use the full range of Red Sea Farms’ technologies, which have been specifically designed and developed in the region to enhance desert crop production in challenging environments like the UAE.


About Silal:

Silal is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy. Silal was established in September 2020 to diversify sources of food products and stimulate local manufactured and agri-food sectors. The company works in line with the Abu Dhabi Government’s directives to promote food supply and distribution in the emirate. Silal’s mandates include empowering the food and agricultural sector and local farmers in Abu Dhabi, as well as managing procurement programmes and strategic stocks of foodstuffs, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA). The company also executes specialised knowledge transfer programmes on desert farming techniques, and devises research and development projects to support the increase in local production of fruits and vegetables for smallholder farmers in the UAE. 

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About Red Sea Farms:

Red Sea Farms is committed to solving one of today’s greatest problems – how to feed the world in the face of diminishing resources. Red Sea Farms cares about the planet just as much as people. Combining impact with innovation through sunlight and saltwater-based agriculture products, systems and services, Red Sea Farms promotes environmental and economic sustainability by meeting the nutritional needs of water-scarce populations. The approach is a world-leading blend of plant science, sustainable cooling, light and energy management and systems that use artificial