For the past couple of years, the UAE has been making significant strides in agriculture. The country is a strong competitor in the global market, with the marketing of its fresh local produce. Now, the UAE is going one step further and will be launching a new Hydroponic Vertical Farm. The Farming system will be launched in the third quarter of 2020 and will initially be set up in Abu Dhabi. Over the upcoming years, the system aims to expand all over the country.
How Will It Benefit The Country?
This new farming method will develop and improve the system of farming in the UAE, through the following:
- Improve food security
- Curb any potential socioeconomic threat
- Reduce the chances of any kinds of pandemics
- Help business locally sources of food produce from UAE farms
- Reduces water waste
- Lessens the depletion of nutrients in the soil
- Eliminates the infestation of insects
- Elimination of all and any sorts of pesticides
How Does It Work?
The company launching this, Smart Acres, has designed this system using IoT-based technology. This will help monitor and grow produce through the consumption of fewer resources and will generate crops of very high quality. Vertical farming works in a unique way. The farming is done in a way where the crops are stacked onto one another, on vertically inclined surfaces. Farming is usually carried out in a controlled environment with no natural sunlight or soil. The nutrients reach the plants via a water-based system, where the water that reaches the plants, is saturated with the necessary nutrients. The roots of the plants grow either in the same nutrient-filled water, or else they are grown in the air which is kept extremely moist. It can also be kept in other solids, which again will contain the necessary nutrients to help the plants grow.
There have been major and successful attempts at vertical farming, around Dubai. Check out this video of how vertical farming is done at Badia farms, in the city.
As of now, Smart Acres are growing the following crops:
- lettuce and herbs,
- Green glace
- Lollo Rosso
Plans to grow mature and baby spinach, along with baby arugula are also in motion.
An Indian expat living in Dubai has not shopped for vegetables and a lot of other day-to-day kitchen requirements, ever since December. Wondering how he’s managing? Well, Praveen Kottavathil maintains his own, sweet kitchen garden and poultry at his villa in Al Quoz. The lockdown has affected our grocery shopping in many ways, but for this man, things have been very different.
Praveen has not felt the need to step out to the supermarket during the lockdown, thanks to his very own vegetable garden. The 3,000 sq ft plot grows ivy gourd, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, mint, curry and coriander leaves, spinach, beans, chillies, watermelons, tapioca and sugarcane. “Everything is grown pesticide free, “ said Kottavathil from the Indian state of Kerala. Read the full story here.