Madar Farms pioneering a new way of living

Rupkatha Bhowmick

UAE-based indoor vertical farming company, Madar Farms is not only treading an original path but pioneering a whole new way of thinking, consuming and living. It grows fresh produce in the UAE intending to provide non-GMO foods through sustainable farming.

Instead of sunlight, Madar Farms uses LED lights meeting the specific growing requirements of each plant. Since it is an indoor environment, the farm can use digital sensors everywhere, thereby controlling the environment, ensuring consistency. Its computers and sensors guarantee the same oxygen levels, same temperature, same humidity, same nutrients, offering the plants the best environment to grow and become the most productive. Importantly, addressing water security, Madar Farms grows its produces using hydroponic farming, conserving more than 95% of water versus a traditional farm.

Recently, Madar Farms announced an approximately 75,350-sqft facility, with 53,820 sqft of growing area set to open at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) by the end of 2020. It is, reportedly, the world’s first commercial-scale indoor farm that will use only LED lighting to grow tomatoes. The facility will also grow microgreens. In the new facility, Madar Farms will, reportedly, triple the quantity of microgreens it currently produces.

“This is only the starting point,” said CEO and co-founder, Abdulaziz AlMulla. “Our total land is spread across almost 753,475 sqft. It will be developed in phases by adding capacity of the tomato farm, while also introducing newer varieties of crops. Our product selection will be based on what people consume and what we can grow sustainably. As the population in the UAE continues to grow, there will be more focus on sustainability. Our new farm will help to meet the increasing demand and give UAE consumers more options to enjoy the best quality, fresh, locally grown produce.”

All the produces grown at Madar Farms will be distributed locally across the UAE and available for purchase. Madar Farms has already partnered with several hotels, restaurants and cafés, Radisson Blu being one. The goal is to form more such like-minded partnerships, even with supermarkets and hypermarkets. “We are not only thinking about growing and selling more; we are thinking about ways to change the way decision-makers think and consume,” AlMulla stated.

Going forward, the big picture for AlMulla is not where Madar Farms is heading; it’s where the community is heading. “I’d love to see wider awareness. I’d like people to understand the environmental challenges that they face. I hope to see more companies in the indoor farming space. I want to see more people employed in this space. I want to see more youth getting engaged in sustainable farming initiatives. And I’d like to see Madar Farms as an agent of this change,” he emphasises.

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