In an effort to bolster its food security strategy, Dubai has announced plans to establish a 900,000-square-foot vertical farm. The project, dubbed the 'Food Technology Valley', is expected to produce an annual output of 3,000 tons of food products, significantly contributing to the region's local food production. This initiative not only aligns with Dubai's ongoing sustainability efforts but also aims to achieve self-sufficiency in food supply, in line with the National Food Security Strategy 2051.
Groundbreaking Farming Innovation
The vertical farm, a collaboration between the ReFarm group of companies and Edinburgh-based Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), is designed to reduce water usage while increasing crop yield in the Middle East. The innovative agricultural project combines hundreds of 12-metre growth towers, capable of sustaining two billion plants each year. It is set to be fully functional by 2026.
Revolutionizing Local Food Production
More than 250 varieties of plants, seedlings, and saplings can be grown in the vertical farm. From salads, herbs, and leafy greens to vegetables, the farm will recycle food waste on-site using black soldier fly larvae, yielding by-products such as organic compost and water for use in the farming towers. This recycling system is designed to be 98% more water efficient than traditional field farming, significantly reducing the farm's environmental footprint.
A Sustainable Future
The farm is expected to replace 1% of the country's fresh produce imports, supporting the UAE's move towards decarbonising food production. This initiative is a testament to Dubai's commitment to sustainability and self-sufficiency. As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change and food security, the 'Food Technology Valley' stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing the power of innovation in driving a sustainable future.