The shipping container farm helping to feed a Dubai community

As more and more indoor farms sprout up in cities across the world, including New York and London, the UAE is firmly on the vertical farming bandwagon.

Nestled among the residential neighbourhood, Beijing-based Alesca Life Technologies set up a hydroponic shipping container farm in the area two months ago.

“The profile of the farmer is changing dramatically…today’s farming tool is the smartphone, not the plough,” Stuart Oda, founder of Alesca Life told The National.

“Where traditional farmers are dependent on the cadence of nature and seasons, urban farms can control nature.”

Controlled through a smartphone app, sensor boxes inside the farms monitor the environment and crops.

Running about “24 harvest cycles each year”, Mr Oda said the Sustainable City shipping container produces fresh crop batches every two weeks and has already produced 26,000 lettuces alone.

About 4,000 seedlings can grow at any one time in biodegradable peat moss sponges and each week, 720 leafy greens are sold to residents and cafes within the community for about Dh40 [11 USD] a kilogram, depending on the crop.

Read more at The National (Kelly Clarke)

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