UAE agriculture tech start-up secures $120 million investment commitment

DUBAI (Reuters) – United Arab Emirates agriculture technology start-up Pure Harvest Smart Farms has raised $20.6 million in fresh funding and secured commitments for a further $100 million, it said on Monday.

Wafra International, an investment firm owned by the Kuwait state pension agency, is investing $10 million of the new funding, and committing $100 million in equity and project financing.

The food technology industry is still nascent in Gulf Arab states, where there is sparse arable land and temperatures in the summer rise above 50 degrees Centigrade (122°F).

Pure Harvest Smart Farms supplies tomatoes grown in an enclosed, environment-controlled farm to supermarkets, hotels and restaurants in the UAE.

Chief Executive Sky Kurtz told Reuters the company, which started in 2018, would significantly expand operations in the UAE, where it recently secured 30 hectares (74 acres) of land, and to Saudi Arabia.

Pure Harvest Smart Farms expects to have its new UAE farms operational by the end of the year, and farms running in Saudi Arabia, where it has secured 6 hectares of land, in the first quarter of 2021.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Jan Harvey

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