Look: Inside Sharjah’s sprawling wheat farm that has greened the mountain desert

Called ‘Saba Sanabel’, which means seven spikes, it has the highest protein content in the UAE market at 18 per cent


Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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KT Photos & Video: Muhammad Sajjad
KT Photos & Video: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 11:43 PM

Surrounded by the rugged mountains in Sharjah’s Mleiha is what used to be a vast expanse of desert. Today, the rocky sand has been transformed into huge green circles. Sown in its rich soil is a story of defying predictions that wheat could not be cultivated in the desert.

When the Khaleej Times visited the farm located some 65km away from the Sharjah city, saplings at the wheat farm had grown up to the knees. About 25 lines of crops have been added, taking the total to 37, forming a green carpet of 1,900 hectares.

Last year, the wheat farm had bloomed over 400 hectares of land and produced over 200 tonnes of high-quality yield. It’s now weeks away from producing a significant amount higher than last year.

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Now in its second year, the farm has been sown with 300 tonnes of high-quality seeds sourced from diverse locations. About 24,000 tons of organic fertilisers were applied to ensure optimum growth.

An irrigation pond with a capacity of 48,000 cubic metres draws and pumps water for irrigation.

Called ‘Saba Sanabel’, which means seven spikes, the wheat produced at the farm has the highest protein content in the UAE market at 18 per cent. The first batch of the wheat became available during the last 10 days of the Holy Month of Ramadan. It was sold in two sizes — 2kg and 5kg.

The aim is to produce 15,200 tonnes of wheat, which is the amount consumed in Sharjah in one year. This will effectively replace imported wheat.


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