While brands across the globe are building more factories and manufacturing units, Emirates has done it differently. The airline’s catering vertical has opened a farm in Dubai and it’s not just any ordinary farm. The facility happens to be the world’s largest vertical farm ever – yes that’s right!
Fueled by a $40 million investment, the Bustanica farm is the first vertical farm by Emirates Crop one – a joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering and Crop One which is a leading name in technology-oriented vertical farming.
The facility is spread across 330,000 sq. ft. and is fit to produce over 1 million kgs of leafy greens each year. It will consume 95 percent less water than conventional agriculture and will produce more than 1 million cultivars or plants, thus reaping an output of 3,000 kg per day.
As stated by gulfnews.com, its highlight is a closed-loop system that is designed to circulate water through the plants to maximize water usage and efficiency. When the water vaporizes, it is recovered and recycled into the system, saving 250m liters of water every year compared to traditional outdoor farming for the same output.
Commenting on it, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said, “Long-term food security and self-sufficiency are vital to the economic growth of any country, and the UAE is no exception. We’ve specific challenges in our region, given the limitations around arable land and climate. Bustanica ushers in a new era of innovation and investments, which are important steps for sustainable growth and align with our country’s well-defined food and water security strategies.”
Remarking similarly, Craig Ratajczyk, CEO, of Crop One, added, “After significant planning and construction, and navigating the unforeseen challenges of the pandemic, we’re thrilled to celebrate this tremendous milestone alongside our joint venture partner, Emirates Flight Catering. It’s our mission to cultivate a sustainable future to meet global demand for fresh, local food, and this first large format farm is the manifestation of that commitment. This new facility serves as a model for what’s possible around the globe.”
Powered by machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced methods, the vertical farm will be run by well-trained agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists, and plant scientists. Talk about the wonders of technology!