Thanks to air-conditioned greenhouses, Emirati producers can grow tomatoes during 45 °C summer

Emirati tomato growers are preparing for the beginning of the summer when they can produce tomatoes in difficult conditions and temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees, thanks to air-conditioned greenhouses.

"Today, we are in the period of transition from winter to summer, and the temperatures are around 30 degrees during the day and 24-25 degrees at night. It is enough to use net houses," said Ali Aljararwah, CEO of Ghalya Farm, located in the Al Ain area of Abu Dhabi.

"But when the temperature rises to 40-45 degrees in the summer, no crop can survive in these conditions, and all Emirati producers use air-conditioned greenhouses with cool air streams during the day," the grower adds.

According to the producer, the use of these greenhouses is not expensive in energy but uses large amounts of water: "The energy cost is not very high, which allows us to continue to produce tomatoes at competitive prices, but also the environmental impact is negligible. The quality is also very similar to that produced in open fields. Currently, I have 10 hectares covered with greenhouses, and I will increase it to 20 hectares in the coming seasons."

All the local tomato production is absorbed by the local market, in supermarkets and farmers' markets, and by direct sales from the farm to the final consumer. Although the cost of production increases in the summer period, growers rely on a tendency of consumers to prefer the national product, says Ali: "This preference is not unconditional, and we strive to grow tomatoes of high quality." 

According to Ali, cooling technologies from several origins are used by Emirati producers: "Cooling machinery from various countries are competing on the Emirati market: European, American, Chinese... however, the installation companies are mostly local."

For more information:
Ali Aljararwah
Ghalya Farm
Tel.: +971501911872

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