Vertical farms in Dubai – the future of farming

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The Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment of the UAE signed an agreement with Shalimar Biotech Industries on the establishment of vertical farms in Dubai.

The ministry will allocate 7,600 square meters of its territory for the implementation of this project. And Shalimar Biotech Industries will provide logistic support and related services. The company will build 12 vertical farms with all necessary infrastructure, including desalination plants, microclimate maintenance equipment, LED lighting and automatic irrigation systems.

The goal of project is to increase the safety and diversity of food products in the UAE. Vertical farms throw much less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The work of such enterprises fully corresponds to the government’s desire to achieve state self-sufficiency in the sphere of agriculture.

Chairman and CEO of the airlines Emirates and Emiratesgroup, noted that the construction and commissioning of the world’s largest vertical farm corresponds to the desire of the UAE to increase the level of self-sufficiency of the state with agricultural products. The farm will bring the same harvest that can be obtained from 900 acres of traditional farmland. Daily on the farm it will be possible to collect 2,700 kg of high quality herbs, without herbicides and pesticides, while 99% less water will be used for its cultivation than would be required in open fields.

It is interesting to note that the country’s first vertical farm Badia Farms was opened in the UAE in December 2017. The hydroponics system produces 18 kinds of leafy vegetables and does not need pesticides.
The installation occupies 790 square meters and produces 18 kinds of leafy vegetables, including basil, rukola and radish.

The system is based on the principle of hydroponics – plants receive all the necessary nutrients from special solutions and concentrates. Thus, plants consume 90% less water than vegetables and greens on traditional open-air farms.

Also vertical farms do not need sunlight – its role is performed by LEDs. Badia Farms does not use chemicals and pesticides, so the products of the Dubai farm is considered organic.

Such farms appear in many countries, but in the Emirates they can change the entire model of food supply, which at the moment is 80% dependent on imports.