With 27 rooms spread over three floors and over 30,000 sq.2, “huge hydroponic farm” Bustanika (“your garden” in Arabic), located close to Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport, aims to be “the largest vertical farm in the world”, writes the English-language newspaper Emirati. gulfnews.
At full power, 1.1 million plants can grow at the same time. “The enterprise is designed to produce more than 1 million kg [de cultivars] in year”explains gulfnews Bustaniki production manager Robert Fellows. Currently, they grow four varieties of lettuce – Romano, Frize, Batavia and Lalique, as well as cabbage, spinach and arugula.
At the forefront of technology
Plants grown on this farm “beyond organic”ready-to-eat without the need for pre-washing, Fellows boasts thanks to state-of-the-art processes.
“Vegetables are grown indoors using ultra-precise methods in a controlled environment that does not require pesticides and greatly reduces pollution sources.”
In other words, each plant gets its own “optimum supply of nutrients”grows in an atmosphere where “humidity levels are controlled”, as well as temperature and lighting, all with “limited human contact”.
The mega-farm also aims to use water efficiently. According to the manager, hydroponics can use up to 95% less water compared to traditional outdoor growing.
So far, only passengers from Emirates and nearly 100 other airlines using Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) have been able to enjoy products grown in Bustanik. But they are expected to hit stores in Dubai by the end of August.
Source: Courrier International