Dubai is now home to the largest vertical farm in the world. It is a perfect step to help with the land crisis, announced Crop One Holdings and Emirates Flight Catering recently. The over 330,000-square-foot facility is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. It has the capacity to produce over 2 million pounds of leafy greens annually.
The name of the vertical farm is Bustanica farm and it is backed by a $40 million investment. The authorities say that while requiring 95 percent less water than conventional agriculture, the facility grows in excess of 1 million cultivars (plants), which will provide an output of 3,000 kg per day.
The facility got its start in 2018 when Crop One, an indoor vertical farming company, and Emirates Flight, the airline Emirates catering arm, signed a $40 million joint venture to build Emirates Crop One. AgFunder reported the $40 million was a majority debt funded.
Although, vertical farms are nothing new, the world’s largest facility is fresh and ready to produce more than 2 million pounds of leafy greens annually. As per the report from Gulf News, the farm’s closed-loop system 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 litres of water every year compared to traditional outdoor farming for the same output.
Machine learning, artificial intelligence and advanced methods have been used in Bustanica. Agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists, and plant scientists are also involved in making the vertical farm. The produce from the farm will soon be available on Emirates flights as well as in supermarkets.