Image credit: World of Farming
Fodder Farming is reaching new heights in the MENA region as new CEA startups are aiming at providing solutions for the region’s food security issues. A vastly desertic area, with few arable land available for farming given the scorch temperatures and the scarcity of water resources thus, forcing countries to import the majority of their food consumption from other countries. With a population expected to grow by 50% by 2050, many countries will need to find sustainable solutions to feed an increasingly urban & westernized population.
For these reasons, in recent times AgriFood technologies capable of overcoming these challenges have captivated the interest of both Middle Eastern public investment authorities and VCs, as well as local leading universities. Investments in AgriFoodTech startups and scale-ups companies in the Middle East & Wider Region have become more and more significant over the years, reaching €1.5Bn (USD 1.5Bn) in 2021 as per Forward Fooding’s data.
As the industry grow’s, World of Farming (WoF), a startup from Hatch & Boost ventures, is introducing a first-of-its-kind hydroponic fodder (livestock feed) farming methodology for the meat and dairy industry to the Middle East market, which aims to address these challenges and enhance the sector sustainability. In line with the UAE’s National Food Strategy 2051, WoF’s vertical farming model will enable local farmers to produce fresh, and cost-effective, local alternatives to international imports of animal fodder independently, efficiently, and more sustainably.
“Today, animal agriculture is one of the most harmful industries on the planet, directly responsible for 14% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and upwards of 50,000 acres of forest are cleared by farmers and loggers every day, around the world. This extreme clearing of land results in habitat loss, amplification of greenhouse gasses, and disruption of water cycles. Coupled with the effects of international mass shipping, and copious amounts of water consumption, the snowball effect of unprecedented global challenges we are seeing will continue to gather pace if we don’t do something about it today,” said Faris Mesmar, CEO and Managing Partner of hatch & boost said in an interview with ITP.net.
The WoF team is dedicated to building, operating, and managing farms across the region. The Abu-Dhabi-based CEA startup has recently been awarded its first contract to build a fully integrated circular farm in the UAE to produce 3,000 metric tons of fresh animal feed every year. This comes after successfully completing its first prototype earlier this year. The startup is also planning a fundraiser to scale its operations throughout the GCC region.