Agriculture Is Blooming In The Desert

Agriculture Is Blooming In The Desert

In UAE, it is necessary to import food because the arid environment is not conducive to growing a variety of leafy plants. While importing food ensures the population does not go hungry, it often results in more expensive, less fresh food, with a lower nutrient density. And, as we saw with covid-19 last year, food supply chains are fragile. Relying on other countries to grow your food is no longer always reliable.

Controlled environment agriculture, like greenhouses and vertical farming, offers a hyper-local alternative to importing food by making agriculture accessible in harsh environments. With the use of new technologies, companies can capitalize on the sprawling desert and sunshine. The UAE’s three deserts offer a massive amount of real estate for building warehouses for vertical farms and an almost unlimited solar power supply. Although water is scarce, vertical farming uses over 90% less water than traditional farming.

Photo: an indoor vertical farm growing greens.


Aquaculture is also present. The largest fish farm in the UAE, with three fish hatcheries providing a local, sustainable source of shrimp, hammour, sea bass, and sea bream.

The future is bright and green Given its large swaths of desert and government commitment to food security, it is no surprise that agtech is becoming a booming sector in the United Arab Emirates. Vertical farming and other local food initiatives have the potential to bring fresher, more nutrient-rich food to the region, provide jobs, educate the youth and continue to show the world that the UAE is always on the cutting edge of new technologies.

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