UAE develops high-tech agriculture to tackle feed shortage
The United Arab Emirates is developing vertical farming and hydroponics to fill feed gaps and reduce reliance on international supply chains.
According to Bloomberg News on the 15th, later this year, Abu Dhabi-based start-up "Agriworld" will start field operations on local farms to provide animal feed to meat and dairy producers.
Farming World says its technology can significantly reduce farm carbon emissions and require less water and space. At the same time, the company uses artificial intelligence technology to monitor crop health and growth rate, and can optimize the output of feed according to the real-time changing feeding needs of the animals being raised.
At this stage, 80% to 90% of the feed needed by UAE meat and dairy producers is imported, according to data provided by Faris Mesmar, CEO of Incubation and Incentive Ventures.
The limited arable land in the region makes it difficult for local livestock operators to obtain a sustainable supply of feed, and the reliance on imports is constraining all private and commercial farms, Maismar said.
According to Bloomberg, technologies such as vertical farming, hydroponics, and drip irrigation have helped desert countries such as the United Arab Emirates reduce the cost of importing high-priced fresh food and feed. For animal protein producers, feed accounts for more than 60% of operating costs.
Greg Ohenishan, co-founder of food safety consultancy Soma Met, said: "If vertical farming can provide a sustainable and affordable source of feed, it has a lot to offer in the UAE, supporting more resilient food. system."
Farms using technologies such as vertical farming and hydroponics usually grow crops indoors without soil, using nutrient solutions and artificial light sources to promote crop growth.
Emirates Airline opened the world's largest hydroponic farm in July to provide leafy greens for flight meals, reports said.