Pure Harvest Smart Farms buys BayWa’s interest in an agritech venture

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 recognised 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.

Both parties share the same vision of making locally grown, high quality, sustainable, fresh produce available everywhere. They also recognize that food security is a global problem that must be addressed through investment, technology, 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. These three parties will continue their collaboration to support food security and food infrastructural projects in the UAE and new markets. They could also include additional production assets or renewable energy infrastructure projects.

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. They share a common vision to continue championing food security, water conservation and sustainability goals for the country. Together, we will explore both UAE and international expansion possibilities.

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 maximise yields, optimise resource use, and reduce emissions with the aim of addressing the critical water-food-energy nexus. The new partnership will be a significant step in increasing local agricultural production and enhancing the quality of locally grown 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 regarding 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. Combining forces will not only improve our ability to service existing customers but also increase our ability to deliver new projects in the GCC as well as other parts of the globe. Pure Harvest has reached a level of scale where it can partner globally-respected enterprises to make an even greater impact on this 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 thrilled to enter this partnership with Pure Harvest Smart Farms. We are impressed by their innovative technologies, strong management team, and world-class engineers team combined with a rapid growth trajectory. We look forward to working together in the future for a better food future.

Current food security problems require innovative technologies that can unlock local production. This new strong partnership in the controlled-environment agriculture sector is an exciting and innovative piece of the overall solution. Aldahra & Pure Harvest can both leverage on each other’s capabilities and assets to scale up 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 to have achieved so much together, and we are happy to be transitioning this large production facility to a new permanent owner-operator of the development strategy of our global renewable power 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 is committed to providing innovative food systems that allow for local, sustainable and organic vegetable production. It has overcome even the most difficult environmental conditions.

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