UAE: Organic vegetable consumption increases by 200% post Covid-19

Farmers at agriculture exhibition in Al Dhaid say awareness and health consciousness among residents contribute to the growth

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SM Ayaz Zakir

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KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad
KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Thu 18 Jan 2024, 7:23 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 Jan 2024, 1:41 PM

In a shift towards healthier living, residents in the UAE are turning towards organic fruits and vegetables, according to local farmers.

Farmers at the inaugural edition of Al Dhaid Agriculture Exhibition told Khaleej Times that they have seen a massive increase in their sales since 2020. “Our client base has shot up post Covid-19 and we have several loyal clients who order veggies once a week,” said Abdullah Al Bloushi from Al Jimi Organica, which started in 2017.

“We sell most of our veggies and fruits online and through social media. We also get orders over phone where we deliver to our client's doorstep in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Soon, we will have our operations in different parts of the UAE,” said Al Baloushi.

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Organised by Expo Centre Sharjah at Expo Al Dhaid with support from the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sharjah Department of Agriculture and Livestock, the event brought together several ministries and government entities and over 50 companies operating in the agriculture and livestock sector, as well as experts, farm owners, and farmers.

The four-day exhibition, which started on January 18, enables exhibitors to showcase the latest techniques and equipment in agriculture and livestock development.

Farmers believe that the trend of organic vegetable consumption reflects a growing awareness and preference for nutritious and pesticide-free food choices among the residents of the UAE.

“The surge in organic vegetable consumption is a result of various factors, including increased health consciousness, a desire for sustainable and eco-friendly practices, and a rising emphasis on overall well-being,” said Al Baloushi.

Kamran Ahmed, a farmer working at Lamarz Integrated Agriculture, said that they have been increasing their production over the last two years. “We sell over 300kg of vegetables every day. People who consume organic produce have understood how beneficial it is to their body,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed’s farm is located in Al Ain, and the produces are sold online with doorstep delivery service. He explains that organic vegetables take months to harvest in the UAE. “With chemical fertilisers, the vegetables and fruits grow faster. However, our produce is purely organic, which takes months to harvest,” said Ahmed.

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“Taking the example of chilis, bell pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, and other vegetables, it takes nearly 3 months. We start sowing seeds and preparing our greenhouse in August, and the sale of vegetables begins only in November, which goes until May,” said Ahmed, adding that the remaining months they are preparing for the next season.

Nayla Organics, which started producing organic vegetables for its consumption before the Covid-19 pandemic, started commercial production due to massive demand. “We have seen a sharp increase in residents opting for organic produce. We grow over 20 different types of vegetables daily and sell them in local markets and online,” said Ashraf, a salesperson.


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