French strawberry container farms come to Dubai

A French company is trialling a method of farming in Dubai that would allow communities to grow food right on their doorstep, despite the harsh desert climate, and it is beginning to bear fruit.

Agricool have already had success in Paris, where the company grows strawberries around the city in recycled shipping containers and sells them in local supermarkets.

Their self-contained hydroponic grow rooms — branded as "cooltainers" — can be placed anywhere there is an electricity supply, meaning you can go from plant to plate in the same day.

"It makes no sense that the food you eat should travel more than you do,” said Georges Beaudoin, Agricool’s international operations manager in Dubai.

But achieving the right ecological balance to grow a tricky crop like strawberries is no mean feat — they even drafted in the help of a hive of bumble bees.

The first test batch was planted in July and this month they have been harvesting around 40 punnets of juicy strawberries that they hand out to the local community each day.

Read more at The National (Liz Cookman)

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