Bustanica: UAE's sustainable agriculture marvel takes center stage ahead of COP28 summit
As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prepares to host the upcoming COP28 summit, the nation is spotlighting its progressive environmental efforts, with a particular focus on Bustanica, the world's largest vertical farm. Unveiled last year, this agricultural marvel is an expression of the country's commitment to sustainable practices.
Bustanica, the brainchild of Emirates Crop One (ECO1), a collaboration between Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) and Crop One, boasts an investment of US$40 million in cutting-edge technology and infrastructure. Strategically located near Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport, the facility harnesses hydroponic cultivation, reducing water consumption by up to 95% compared to traditional outdoor farming.
This revolutionary approach results in substantial water savings, amounting to 250 million liters annually, while also contributing to a significant reduction of 1,000MW in water production. The controlled indoor environment ensures zero soil degradation, addressing concerns associated with conventional agriculture. The nutrient-rich water is meticulously circulated to each crop, eliminating the risk of nutrient leaching into the soil. Fungal and food-borne disease risks are virtually eradicated through meticulous humidity control, and the minimal human interaction with crops mitigates the potential for contamination. Water, purified and filtered, undergoes precise blending with plant-specific nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium. This nutrient-rich solution is then delivered to the plant roots, fostering optimal nutritional development. The harvested greens are organic, requiring no pre-washing-they are ready to be consumed straight from the box. Each plant benefits from precision farming, receiving an ideal blend of nutrients, while a controlled environment with closed-loop systems ensures no nutrient loss.
Being locally produced facilitates swift delivery from farm to fork in the UAE, preserving the produce's nutritional value. Additionally, the locally grown greens boast enhanced crunchiness, superior flavor, and overall better quality. Bustanica's diverse produce, including beets, parsley, romaine, lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, microgreens, herbs, and strawberries is available for consumption throughout the year. Consumers in the UAE can find Bustanica's offerings in major supermarket chains both in physical stores and online.
As the UAE gears up to host COP28, Bustanica serves as a flagship example of the nation's proactive approach to sustainability. The farm's presence underscores the UAE's dedication to fostering green initiatives, setting the stage for meaningful discussions on environmental stewardship and innovation during the upcoming summit.