Giving Compass’ Take:
• Rabiya Jaffery covers the trend of vertical farming that is starting to emerge in the Middle East and could be a solution to future food security issues.
• How can vertical farming mitigate climate change affects? How can these food security solutions be broadly implemented?
Tucked away in Masdar City, a quiet planned neighborhood in the emirate of Abu Dhabi that combines earth-tone Arabic architecture with wind turbines and other innovative technology, is a cluster of container-style buildings.
These containers are the site of Madar Farms, co-founded by Abdulaziz Al Mulla, a Kuwaiti entrepreneur based in the United Arab Emirates. He ended up purchasing old shipping containers and transforming them into these indoor farms as a way to increase local food production. Today lettuce, basil, kale and other leafy greens grow without soil in trays that sit under red and blue LED lights, stacked in levels much like floors in a building.
“I was overwhelmed by the numbers: less than 5 percent of land in the Arabian Gulf is arable farmland. Despite this, over 80 percent of water use in our drier climate is used for agriculture. If we keep going at the same pace, we will deplete a significant amount of our natural resources in the next 50 years,” says Al Mulla.
This approach to indoor agriculture, known as vertical farming, has been gaining popularity in many parts of the world — the business consulting firm Grand View Research, Inc., estimates the global market will reach $9.96 billion by 2025 — but is still an emerging concept in the Middle East.
Read the full article about how vertical farming can boost food security in the Middle East by Rabiya Jaffery at GreenBiz.
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