Food security in the United Arab Emirates and opportunities for Dutch companies

Did you know that yearly 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted globally? If only one quarter of the food wasted was saved, it would feed approx. 870 million hungry people around the world. Food Consumption in the UAE is growing at an annual rate of more than 4% per year. The population is estimated to increase from 9 million to 11 million by 2030. These factors combined with the desert country having an extreme climate condition and water scarcity almost no rainfall plus a very limited water supply arable land present the government with big challenges.

Al Dahra-Baywa greenhouses facility in Al-Ain is a perfect adaptation of Dutch advanced technologies adapted to the UAE’s environment by a group of Dutch companies: Van der Hoeven, Patron Agri Systems, VEK Adviesgroepe, Van Dijk Heating, Royal Brinkman, Natupol, Grodan Delta, Omniplast.

It will produce 3,000,000 kg of clean tomatoes annually whereby water is recycled to 100%.

Pure Harvest Farm is in the middle of the desert in the United Arab Emirates, tomatoes are grown with Dutch innovation. Pure Harvest aims to be part of the solution to the region’s growing food security, water conservation, and sustainability challenges.

In total, 7 Dutch companies are involved: Certhon Greenhouse Solutions, Priva, Koppert Biological Systems, Hatenboer Water, Royal Brinkman, RijkZwaan.

Pure Harvest Smart Farms is the embodiment of the water-food-energy Nexus. As a local start-up, it expresses the vision of the Netherlands of sustainability through innovation.

In such an arid harsh climate, while constantly battling with a limited water supply, it is essential that innovations such as controlled climate growing facilities are utilized in order to maximize food sources. Pure Harvest plans to develop a portfolio of CEA (controlled environment agriculture) technologies including vertical farms and contained based growing locations to help battle water and food scarcity and provide a wide range of fresh produce.

The Dutch high-tech of Certhon used at Pure Harvest enabled approach to arid climate agriculture and its strong project team offers a realistic and much-needed solution for improving food security across the Gulf.

The GCC’s first commercial vertical indoor farm, Badia Farms, uses the latest hydroponic technology and vertical farming techniques, the farm produces nutritious and pesticide-free leafy greens without the need for sunlight, soil or chemicals. The farm produces an extensive range of micro-greens and baby leaf herb varieties. Badia Farms uses high-tech indoor farming techniques that allow crops to grow throughout the year. The sustainable eco-system created at Badia Farms uses 90% less water than in open field farming.

Read more at (Samar Kadri)

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