Vertical Farms Company (VFCo) has initiated the start of construction on what is said to be the largest indoor vertical farming project in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

VFCo is a joint venture (JV) between farming companies Mowreq Specialized Agriculture and YesHealth Group. The JV was established to develop a network of indoor vertical farms throughout Saudi Arabia.

This agricultural development in Riyadh is the first farm being developed by the JV. The project will serve both as a commercial vertical farm and an experiential centre.

The facility will also feature exhibition and dining spaces for visitors.

The design of the building is a joint effort by Mowreq and YesHealth, with Mowreq overseeing construction with local suppliers Commitco and Darat while YesHealth is in charge of constructing the 15m-tall vertical farm.

The farm will boast a substantial growing area of 20,000m², distributed across 19 layers. This structure is designed to yield up to 2,200kg of leafy greens daily.

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Produce will consist of baby leaves, cruciferous vegetables, full-size lettuces, and speciality crops, including edible flowers.

YesHealth COO Jesper Hansen said: “This project has been carefully coordinated by our teams in Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.

“I’m pleased to see how effectively we’re collaborating, and I must praise our Saudi partners for their solid execution.

“We require three months to install the equipment and two months to test it. If everything goes to plan, then we’ll be harvesting our first crops in the fall [autumn].”

The development’s construction phase is expected to be completed in July 2024, with commencement of farming operations projected for the latter half of that year.