Emirates Flight Catering opens world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai
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Emirates Flight Catering opens world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai

Emirates Flight Catering opens world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai

Bustanica, a joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering and Crop One, aims to annually save over 250 million litres of water and produce more than a million kilos of produce free of pesticides

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World's largest organic vertical farm opens in Dubai

The world’s largest vertical farm, Bustanica, recently opened near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central.

The farm, backed by an investment of $40m, is the first vertical farm for Emirates Crop One, a joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering and Crop One, an industry leader in technology-driven indoor vertical farming.

The 330,000 square feet environmentally controlled farm facility is predicted to produce more than a million kilograms of leafy greens free of pesticides, herbicides and chemicals, while requiring 95 per cent less water than traditional agriculture, saving 250 million litres of water annually. At any point in time, the facility will produce over one million cultivars (plants), providing an output of 3,000 kg per day.

The hydroponic farm’s closed-loop system is designed to circulate water through the plants to maximise water usage and efficiency. When the water vaporises, it is recovered and recycled into the system.

According to the company, Bustanica will have zero impact on the world’s threatened soil resources, a reduced reliance on water and year-round harvests unhampered by weather conditions and pests.

Passengers flying with Emirates and other airlines can enjoy produce from the farm on board flights starting this month. Additionally, UAE consumers will soon be able to add these greens to their shopping carts at the nearest supermarkets.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “Long-term food security and self-sufficiency are vital to the economic growth of any country, and the UAE is no exception. We’ve specific challenges in our region, given the limitations around arable land and climate. Bustanica ushers in a new era of innovation and investments, which are important steps for sustainable growth and align with our country’s well-defined food and water security strategies.”

“Bustanica helps secure our supply chain, and ensures our customers can enjoy locally sourced nutritious produce,” he added.

Craig Ratajczyk, CEO, Crop One, said: “It’s our mission to cultivate a sustainable future to meet global demand for fresh, local food, and this first large format farm is the manifestation of that commitment. This new facility serves as a model for what’s possible around the globe.”

Bustanica also plans to expand into the production of fruits and vegetables in the future.

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