UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, recently inaugurated Badia Farms – the GCC’s first commercial vertical farm. Al Zeyoudi toured the farm and explored the latest hydroponic technology and vertical farming techniques.
Applauding the work of Badia Farms, Dr Al Zeyoudi says, “Badia Farms is an exceptional example of how the UAE’s agricultural industry can thrive while protecting our environment for future generations. The initiative reflects the nation’s commitment to becoming more sustainable and helps us achieve our goal of food security.”
He added that the farm’s agricultural concept is aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 to work towards a sustainable future and reduce water usage. “Sustaining food diversity relies heavily on innovation and the employment of cutting-edge technologies. The Ministry supports all efforts in this field and works on enhancing its ties with the private sector to explore potential investment opportunities,” Al Zeyoudi elaborates.
He pointed out that hydroponic technology will be a major contributor to agricultural sustainability and food diversity and security, as it enhances crops production and lowers their cost. This is evident in the successful production achieved by Badia Farms in the very short time since its inception in December 2017. “We commend the successful endeavour of Badia Farms, which reaffirms UAE’s position as a leading incubator for innovation,” he adds.
“We set up Badia Farms in the UAE with a vision to provide a sustainable solution for food and to reduce the region’s reliance on imports,” shares Badia Farms founder and CEO, Omar Al Jundi. “Growing crops in the region has always been a challenge due to the hostile climate, and this is where Badia Farms offers a viable solution. Not only can we grow the freshest greens, with no pesticides or chemicals, but we actually do this in the most eco-friendly way possible, using minimal recycled water. This is our way to give back to the UAE and start the new wave of farming in Dubai – the home of innovation.”
The farm began production in December 2017 with ambitious plans to pioneer the region’s ‘green revolution’ with innovative agri-tech methods that optimise growing conditions within a controlled indoor environment. Using 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 eco-system created by Badia Farms uses 90% less water than open field farming and recycles the water it uses. The farm also combats the carbon footprint of food imports that typically travel an average of 3,000 miles to reach restaurants in Dubai.
The farm produces an extensive range of lettuces, micro-greens, baby leaf herb varieties which add complex flavours to salads, main dishes, sandwiches and soups. The micro-greens, including arugula, kale, radish, red cabbage, basils and mustard, are packed with antioxidants and are rich in nutrients.