Saturday, July 24, 2021

High-tech farm unveiled in Dubai to produce pesticide-free vegetables for local consumptions

Major economies in the Middle East have been in the news for their fast-paced move towards development of tech-powered ecosystems, as the world moves away from oil. The countries are adopting clean energy, smart solutions to increase efficiency and innovative waste management to build the foundation for a sustainable future.

But UAE and its neighbours,.situated in the middle of a dry, rugged terrain, are also focusing on ways to start a green revolution for ensuring food security in the desert. Among several initiatives to empower agriculture with technology in the country, Dubai Industrial City is now hosting a 100,000 sq ft vertical farm.

The indoor facility is expected to produce thousands of tonnes of vegetables, which will be sent to hundreds of stores, hotels and restaurants in the city. In line with other tech-savvy farms in the country, the ecosystem developed by Sokovo has a retractable sun roof, to make sure crops get required sunlight.

The enhanced exposure to natural light in the climate controlled surroundings, will significantly cut down power usage. To ensure equal nutrition for all plants in order to ensure a higher yield, the farm will consist of rotating towers.

As for the quality of the produce, the greens coming out of the unit will be 100% chemical free, and will be processed using equipment that is regularly sanitised. Dubai Industrial City, which is ground zero for this operation, is also home to 60 food brands along with 11 factories in the pipeline.

Recently KidZania announced a plan to educate children about using a smartphone app to grow vegetables and fruits inside the house. The smart kitchen gardens are an effort to encourage individual initiatives for food security.

The city is also home to Carrefour stores, which set up the city’s first ever in-store farms to grow fresh leafy greens and fruits for customers.

Apart from indoor ecosystems, the country is also testing nano-clay to make sand fertile, along with drones to zap clouds for higher rainfall.

Image: Shutterstock

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