In the past, Middle Eastern countries may not have looked like the go-to places for agricultural development. These days however, some of them are among the main drivers of agricultural technology and innovation. A great example is the city of Dubai hosting their second Global Vertical Farming Show on 27 – 28 July.
So why is the UAE so present in vertical farming, so much so that a cooperation between Emirates and Crop One even gave them the largest vertical farm in the world, called “Bustanica”. The reasons for this seem plenty.
The UAE is very dependent on food imports, due to the harsh climate that doesn’t allow for many crops to grow. That is why they are looking to localise food production through alternative agricultural methods, of which vertical farming seems the most promising. The lack of water is one of the most pressing problems that is solved by vertical farming, since it uses about 90% less water than traditional agriculture.
Vertical farming requires a lot of energy. While this would be a major environmental and financial cost in other countries, this is not the case in the UAE. There is an abundance in renewable solar energy available, which makes the UAE an ideal investment for vertical farmers.