Vertical farm in Dubai to produce pesticide-free strawberries, spinach, kale

Dubai - The hydroponic facility will be built with a retractable sunroof to maximise natural light.

Representational image - AFP
Representational image - AFP

By Staff Report

Published: Sun 11 Jul 2021, 2:16 PM

Sokovo has signed an agreement with Dubai Industrial City to establish a vertical farm that will produce thousands of tonnes of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables per year.

The indoor farm has a plot size of more than 100,000sqft, with a total built-up area covering more than 25,000sqft. The farm will produce fresh kale, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries and melons, supplying hypermarkets, hotels and top chefs across the country.

The environment-friendly hydroponic facility will be built with a retractable sunroof to maximise natural light and reduce electricity consumption. Water will be responsibly used to provide the necessary nutrients to the crops while maintaining quality and freshness.

State-of-the-art processing and sorting equipment will sanitise and pack the produce. Rotating seven-metre-tall towers will also be used to ensure that all the crops get equal exposure to natural sunlight.

Saud Abu Al Shawareb, managing director of Dubai Industrial City, said: “Growing melons, tomatoes, strawberries and kale in an arid climate with limited water and arable land should be impossible, but the UAE’s commitment to innovation-driven food security shows anything is possible. Our agreement with Sokovo to build a world-class vertical farm marks an exciting chapter in the future of food production, and we are delighted to welcome them to our business district.

“Food security is a national priority, and the expansion of technology-driven sustainable farming is vital to build and scale resilient production systems that can grow fresh and healthy produce. It also catalyses investment and employment opportunities that contribute to our knowledge-based economy. And today’s important agreement moves the UAE closer to achieving the goals enshrined in the National Food Security Strategy 2051,” he said.

Harsh Gurbani, manager, Sokovo, added: “We look forward to producing pesticide-free fruits and vegetables which would be grown and sold only in the UAE. This would also contribute towards the economy of the country and enable us to grow fresh products 365 days of the year and 24 hours of the day.”

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