A South Korean food manufacturer is currently in discussion with potential companies in Qatar and its Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) neighbours that have expressed interest in its automated vertical farming technology.
Nongshim is South Korea’s leading instant noodles and snack manufacturer, and a global name in the food and beverages market, according to Y J Bae, manager at Nongshim.
He said, “Nongshim is a conglomerate with all the essential subsidiaries to be the leader in its field. By identifying key elements, Nongshim is making vertical farming less human-intensive and easier to maintain through its subsidiary, Nongshim Engineering.”
As Qatar progresses towards establishing vertical farms, Nongshim is keen to play a key role in providing vertical farming technology to interested entities, as well as the training of personnel, Bae pointed out.
“In the near future and with the right collaboration with local entities, a training centre could be established to address the education and training needs of the people in the region.
“Our training is done on-site with actual professionals to help trainees experience the actual day-to-day operational experience necessary to properly manage a vertical farm. We have an exclusive programme where one will need to pass the qualifications to be a Nongshim-certified vertical farmer,” Bae explained.
He said, “While everyone is talking about vertical farming and its benefits, at Nongshim, in co-operation with Star Farm Enterprise in the US, we would like to provide education and training to help find talent and certify them to be key players in any vertical farms that would be set up in Qatar, the Middle East, or anywhere in the world.”
Bae noted that the discussions with Qatari and GCC companies are a follow-up to talks held during the ‘9th Qatar International Agricultural and Environmental (Agritech and Envirotech) Exhibition 2022’ where several Qatari officials requested their South Korean counterparts to support Qatar in terms of advanced vertical farming technology.
Earlier, Bae told Gulf Times that agriculture was among the key topics of the meeting held between HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani and South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum in Doha in March this year.
“Currently this programme will be initiated for Nongshim clients while they wait for their vertical farms to be ready. Nongshim is part of a consortium that has been awarded the first smart farm project in Oman by the government’s smart farm initiative,” Bae noted.