By Sam Bridge
Dubai Industrial City will host Badia Farms' upcoming new large-scale high-tech vertical farm
Dubai Industrial City has announced it will be home to Badia Farms’ upcoming new large-scale high-tech vertical farm.
Badia Farms, a regional AgTech leader, said the vertical farm is expected to start operations in the second quarter of 2020.
Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, managing director of Dubai Industrial City, and Omar Al Jundi, founder and CEO of Badia Farms, signed an agreement formalising the partnership.
Spanning an area of 50,000 sq ft, the facility will have the capacity to produce 3,500kg of high-quality fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
From Dubai Industrial City, Badia Farms will grow more than 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables sustainably, it said in a statement.
Vertical farming uses high-tech methods to produce crops in a controlled environment leveraging vertical space, without pesticides, and using fewer resources compared to traditional farming.
The Badia Farms facility in Dubai Industrial City is rare as it will combine fruits and vegetables on a commercial large-scale basis.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, who said: “Badia Farms is an exceptional example of how the UAE’s agricultural industry can thrive while protecting our environment for future generations.
"This new high-tech vertical farm will contribute to the UAE’s commitment to becoming more sustainable. Hydroponic technology is a major contributor to agricultural sustainability and food diversity, as it improves crop production and lowers its cost. This is evident in the successful production achieved by Badia Farms in the very short time since its inception.”
Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, added: “The UAE has set clear plans to enhance its food security, relying on an integrated ecosystem to produce and manage food – a system that employs advanced modern technologies to develop solutions to the challenges the UAE faces, most notably water scarcity and lack of arable land. Controlled-environment agriculture systems are an important solution for producing food in the UAE and the world. The UAE is now home to several vertical farms equipped with hydroponics and soilless farming technologies.”
Al Jundi said: “As founders of the first vertical farm in the region back in 2016, we are committed to innovation in the AgTech space to achieve our ultimate goal of elevating the UAE and the region from importers to exporters of fruits and vegetables.”