World’s largest vertical farm opens in Dubai

Published July 27, 2022, 10:59 AM

by Len Amadora

Bustanica

Another historical milestone for UAE as Bustanica, which means your garden or orchard in Arabic, has unveiled the 330,000 sqft controlled farm facility making it the world’s largest hydroponic farm. Bustanica is driven by powerful technology – machine learning, artificial intelligence and advanced methods – and a highly specialized in-house team that includes agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists and plant scientists.

agronomy experts at Bustanica

Located near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the facility is the first vertical farm for Emirates Crop One, the joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world’s largest catering operations serving more than 100 airlines, and Crop One, an industry leader in technology-driven indoor vertical farming. Vertical farming techniques and technology eliminates the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and chemicals. The facility is geared to produce more than 1,000,000 kilograms of high-quality leafy greens annually, while requiring 95% less water than conventional agriculture.

greens on multi-tier growing racks

The farm’s closed-loop system is designed to circulate water through the plants to maximize water usage and efficiency. When the water vaporizes, it is recovered and recycled into the system, saving 250m liters of water every year compared to traditional outdoor farming for the same output.

seedlings

At present, the facility cultivates kale, spinach, arugula and mixed greens and plans to grow fruits and vegetables in the future. The harvested greens are beyond organic, ready-to-eat and don’t need pre-washing.

Passengers on Emirates and other airlines can look forward to savouring these delicious leafy greens on board their flights this month of July.

Bustanica is not just revolutionizing salads in the sky. Since it is locally produced, delivery from farm to fork in the UAE will be quick. Soon, UAE consumers will be able to buy these greens at the nearest supermarkets.

 
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