Armela Farms is a large-scale producer, packer and distributor of water-grown lettuce in the United Arab Emirates. The company's mission is to produce high-quality lettuce with a high nutritional value in order to contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Following the launch of the first production location in 2016, research was carried out into techniques, varieties and optimal climate conditions. They had their first harvest in August 2018. The construction of a new production location has recently started and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2021: the largest fully automated lettuce greenhouse in the United Arab Emirates. Which smart solutions are being applied at Armela Farms? How does the customer experience this?
Armela Farms chose Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects as their turnkey supplier for the new production facility. They will use specialised technologies from various Dutch suppliers and our colleagues at Patron Agri Systems. In collaboration with these partners, Armela Farms will realise a two-hectare, fully automated, data-driven cultivation company – the largest of its kind in the United Arab Emirates. The company is located in Abu Dhabi and will be able to grow over nine million lettuce heads per year, which amounts to 2.3 million kilograms per year. Harvesting will take place all year round.
Van der Hoeven has now proven that its ModulAIR system functions perfectly in desert climates with high temperatures and humidity levels. This project will once again confirm that a climate can be created inside the greenhouse regardless of the climatic conditions outside. In addition, the ModulAIR system ensures that the crop is 100% pesticide free.
From traditional hydroponic to data-driven
“The new facility will, for example, enable us to monitor the evaporation of a single plant at any given time and many other advanced parameters required for optimum plant grown and output,” says Yazan Abu Jaish (Managing Partner, Armela Farms) about their transition from traditional hydroponic farming to data driven farming.
Sales Manager Bas Duijvestijn (Van der Hoeven) talks about the collaboration with the client: “The team from Armela Farms has a lot of cultivation experience in the Middle East. They really challenged us in the design phase, because they knew what they wanted to achieve with the new facility. Thanks to our extensive experience with similar projects in the region, we managed to come up with a comprehensive solution together, which stands out from previous projects. It's fantastic to have a partner with whom we can collaborate on that level and jointly optimise our technologies.”
Construction for this project began in October and completion is scheduled for the summer of 2021.