From mid-August to mid-November, a 3-month seasoning production cycle will take place, after which the bulbs will be moved to the greenhouse. The UAE announced earlier this year that it was making strong efforts to construct the largest vertical farm in the world close to the Expo 2020 site in order to increase the nation’s food production and future-proof its agricultural systems.
Additionally, it would support indoor, urban farming as the next significant development in the world’s food production cycles. Another development is that one of the biggest indoor vertical farms growing saffron in the Mena region is now located in the UAE.
The Veggitech facility in Al Zubair, Sharjah is home to a cutting-edge vertical farm that is ready to produce high-yielding, high-grade saffron in a first-of-its-kind agrotech initiative in the UAE. “To produce Saffron locally, in the UAE, is a big step forward.”
The smart saffron indoor farm also promises eco-friendly measures, yielding healthier crops, without using fertiliser and pesticides, with reduced land use and minimal water consumption, to ensure a more sustainable production cycle. “The production cycle of saffron will span across 3 months, from mid-August to mid-November, after which the saffron bulbs will be shifted to the greenhouse.”
One of the biggest obstacles the Veggitech team had to overcome in order to set up the saffron farm was the harsh climate. Another was the need to incorporate smart built-in systems for farm management. Food security is one of the main advantages of bringing modern agrotech to the UAE through such initiatives, claims Saleh Nasser Al Sorayai, chairman of SNASCO Holding Group.
We are attempting to develop an industry-first project, working with the UAE government to develop educational programmes that promote urban farming in the nation and increase food security and production, with the launch of the saffron farm and the expansion of our indoor vertical farming ventures in the UAE.