World’s largest hydroponic farm opened in Dubai.

The world’s largest hydroponic farm has opened in Dubai, capable of producing more than 1 million kg of leafy greens per year. The Bustanica facility covers an area of 30,000 square metres and uses 95% less water than standard farming operations.

The farm is part of Emirates Crop One holding company, a joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering, which supplies in-flight catering to more than 100 airlines, and Crop One, which specialises in vertical farming. Bustanica’s operations will use artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, among others.

The venture will also be operated by agronomists, engineers and horticulturists. The farm will operate in a continuous production cycle, with greens grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemicals.

The leafy greens, including green salad, arugula and spinach, will be supplied to Emirates passengers and will also be sold in UAE supermarkets. In the future, the hydroponic farm will also sell vegetables and fruits. Each year, the venture will save 250 million litres of water.

In May 2020, trading conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim opened its first hydroponic farm in Dubai, at the Carrefour supermarket in Al Wasl district. The farm produces 10kg of fresh herbs and greens a day, equivalent to the yield of 1 acre of farmland, or 4,000 square metres.

The first two hydroponic farms were opened in the Yas Mall and My City Centre Masdar hypermarkets – under an agreement with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to promote local produce.

Hydroponic farms are one of the most efficient technologies to produce fresh produce indoors with temperature and hygiene control, while shortening the ‘bed-to-bed’ path and reducing the environmental impact.

Source: Khaleej Times

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