A Syrian farmer in the UAE is producing a variety of salad vegetables and herbs in the inhospitable climate and terrain of the region.
Amjad Alkhal, who works as an agricultural engineer at Emirates Hydroponics Farms, uses a hydroponic farming system.
Using alternative farming systems has saved Alkhal around 90 percent of the water that he would have used by deploying traditional farming methods.
The farmer also uses a vertical farming rotatory field - a stackable, revolving farm bed with 18 rows. This set-up has also saved Alkhal space, allowing him to be located closer to the city centre and deliver produce to stores faster, which in turn has reduced the farm’s environmental footprint.
“That rotatory greenhouse, which we applied in 2005, is the first rotatory greenhouse in the Middle East,” says Alkhal, “Due to the system, if you were going to plant in the same area for traditional agriculture it would need around six times [the space of] this one.”