Northern Corridor Implementation Authority eyes US$100m investment from UAE-based agritech firm

Pure Harvest has approached NCIA during the ongoing World Expo in Dubai, said NCIA chief operating officer Hasri Hasan. — Reuters pic
Pure Harvest has approached NCIA during the ongoing World Expo in Dubai, said NCIA chief operating officer Hasri Hasan. — Reuters pic

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ABU DHABI, Nov 26 — The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) is eyeing an investment worth US$100 million (RM424 million) from a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based agricultural technology company, Pure Harvest Smart Farms.

Pure Harvest, which is expected to set up its regional facility in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), specialises in smart farming to produce high value crops at premium quality.

NCIA chief operating officer Hasri Hasan said this is in line NCIA’s plan to develop the NCER AgriBio Economic Zone, which is a dedicated zone focused on integrated high value agriculture activities.

“Pure Harvest has approached NCIA during the ongoing World Expo in Dubai and a meeting was held in the Malaysia Pavilion before a site visit to its facility in Abu Dhabi,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of Malaysia’s trade and business week programme themed “NCER: Your Preferred Investment Destination in Malaysia” hosted by NCIA during the expo today.

Yesterday, an NCIA delegation led by Hasri and two representatives from Felda Global Ventures (FGV) visited Pure Harvest facility in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi.

He said the company had innovated growing technologies and horticultural best practices to be able to have year-round production of crops at affordable costs while maintaining premium quality fresh produce.

Based on the visit, Hasri said, NCIA has concluded there is an opportunity to introduce this technology and promote it in NCER by inviting Pure Harvest to invest in Malaysia.

“We are looking at an investment of about US$100 million over the next 24 months and FGV’s presence during the visit also provided confidence for Pure Harvest to invest in NCER with a potential joint-venture with them,” he said.

He said FGV is also planning to venture into smart farming producing high value crops on its 4,451-hectare (11,000 acres) land in Chuping, Perlis.

Meanwhile, Pure Harvest vice president for strategy department Lucio Baron said Malaysia is strategically located for the company to expand its business to serve the Southeast Asia market.

He said the company designs and operates climate-controlled greenhouse systems that allow for the localisation of food production anywhere in the world, regardless of climate.

“We are keen to work with a Malaysian company to set up our facility in Southeast Asia and we have various joint-venture plans to suit our partner,” he said.

Pure Harvest currently produces a variety of crops including tomatoes, leafy greens, strawberries and other premium quality fresh products. — Bernama

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