Is UAE Agriculture Ready For The Future?
Climate change is not a problem for future generations. According to a UN report, it is already affecting human health, water resources, and agriculture, today! Three info-graphics below highlight some of the report’s findings, including predictions for 2030 and 2050.
How Is Climate Change Harming Agriculture?
Prices of key staple crops are increasing across the board as global warming impacts yields. Spikes in food prices are more common due to increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Farmers are unable to adapt fast enough.
By 2030, major producers of staples such as rice and wheat will experience a significant reduction in yields. Given our dependence on imports, the Middle East is particularly vulnerable to continued disruption of the global agricultural system.
The world population is expected to cross 9 billion by 2050. Public awareness about food security will be as common as knowing the months of the year. Rising sea levels will disrupt trade routes, as existing ports may flood. Traditional agricultural techniques will not be able cope with increased weather volatility.
What about the Middle East?
With minimal agricultural land and water resources, coupled with soaring temperatures, climate change poses a serious challenge to the Middle East. Regional governments understand the threat and are broadening their definitions of national security, which now includes food and water security. A radical transformation of the agricultural sectors of these countries is necessary to sustain the region’s growing population.
Innovative controlled-environment agricultural technologies deliver high yields using minimal resources, and empower farmers to grow on any type of land. These technologies incorporate elements of hydroponics (growing plants without soil), aeroponics (growing plants in mist), aquaculture (farming of fish), and mariculture(cultivation of marine organisms in the sea).
Specifically, the UAE is striving to become a pioneer and hub for futuristic sustainable tech. Sustainability is one of the three key pillars of Expo 2020, and is at the core of projects such as Dubai Sustainable City, Masdar City, and Area 2071.
Madar Farms - Looking To The Future
What does the future of food look like? At Madar Farms, we’re working to address future challenges, today. Our initial AgTech partnership has brought hydroponic container farms to the UAE and its neighbors. These are a modular plug-and-play solution, enabling anyone to sustainably grow premium leafy greens all year. What’s next? We are working towards building an automated farm factory capable of sustainably growing 3,000 kilos of leafy greens every day.
Our goal is to partner with global AgTech leaders in order to cover the complete nutritional profile. Currently we are researching the commercial feasibility of hydroponically grown strawberries, edible flowers, and legumes. We are constantly monitoring the industry to identify commercially viable tech – whether it is aquaponics or plant-based meats.