FAQS

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Categories

Our Company

Hydroponics

Our Produce

Leafy Green Machine

 

Our Company

Q. What does your company do?

Madar Farms is working to tackle regional food and water security challenges. We have a multipronged approach that includes growing sustainable hydroponic produce, helping adoption of hydroponic farming by selling smart hydroponic container farms, and working with governments to build automated farm factories capable of growing produce at anationally significant level.

Q. Where are you located?

We are based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Hydroponics

Q. What is hydroponics?

The word hydroponic comes from latin and means working water. Simply put, it is the art of growing plants without soil. Plants acquire nutrients from nutrient-enriched water and are held in place using a renewable and breathable growing medium. Specialized LED lights simulate the sun. Our insulated and closed-system hydroponic farms use 99% less water than traditional outdoor farming, and enable us to grow all-year on any type of land. Our fresh produce is never treated with any pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides.

Q. What is vertical farming?

There are two types of vertical farming. One is the stacking of hydroponic systems in horizontal levels, similar to floors of a building. The second technique is when grow towers hang vertically (this is used in the LGMTM). Both methods entail growing in a controlled environment and result in drastically higher-yields per square foot. Vertical farming is essential for sustainable urban farming due to high land prices and land scarcity

Q. What does organic mean?

Produce can be labeled organic if it is grown in “sun” and “soil.” Growers are permitted to use chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers) that meet a higher safety standard compared to non-organic produce. Growing in soil requires the use of harmful chemicals to clean and protect plant life from bacteria and pests.

Q. How is hydroponic produce different to organic produce?

Organic farming is resource-intensive and low yielding. It is treated with herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides. Generally, it travels over 5000 miles to reach our city, and several days pass before we consume ‘fresh’ organic produce. Local organic produce is even more resource-intensive to compensate for the arid Arab climate. Local hydroponic produce has the smallest carbon footprint, is not treated with any chemicals, and offers same-day freshness. Our hydroponic produce is sustainable, healthy, and fresh.

In Dubai, and across the region in general, organic produce is not the most sustainable or the healthiest choice.

Q. Is hydroponic produce better than organic produce?

Imported organic produce has an extremely high carbon footprint (your food is flown in from another continent). Local organic produce is irresponsible and not sustainable due to water scarcity. Hydroponic produce is the only sustainable solution for the Arab region, in terms of being highly water efficient and traveling the least distance. It also limits human exposure to harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides, as growing without soil in a controlled environment eliminates the need to spray produce with these chemicals.

Q. How can you grow without sunlight?

The LGM provides high-efficiency LED lighting with deep red and blue hues to mimic sunlight. The lights automatically cycle on and off to simulate periods of day and night for the plants. Both the spectrum of light and day/night periods is optimized for healthy and vigorous plant growth.

Q. Why is hydroponics not widely practiced?

The two primary barriers to the acceptance and use of hydroponic systems are quickly eroding:

1. Lack of knowledge – Farmers and entrepreneurs didn’t know enough about hydroponics or understand it completely. This is rapidly changing as Madar Farms is making the adoption of hydroponics more accessible with the LGMTM.

2. Outdated economics – Traditionally, when water and land were abundant (i.e. cheap) and when no one was concerned about their food being produced thousands of miles away, the economics of traditional, soil-based farming were more favorable. Hydroponics is a sustainable solution for today’s challenges of water-scarcity, high carbon-footprints, and soil degradation. The LGMTM enables anyone to grow locally on any type of land using 99% less water. The economics have shifted in favor of hydroponics and Madar Farms.

Our Produce

Q. How does it taste?

Buy our produce and taste the same-day freshness! Our produce is delivered daily to restaurants and supermarkets.

Q. How does the nutritional value compare to traditional farming?

Studies show that hydroponic produce has nutritionally superior to produce that is grown using traditional methods. For example, a 2015 Japanese study revealed that hydroponic lettuce (Romaine, Frilly and Red leaf) had 10x more beta-carotene than lettuce farmed through traditional means in the outdoors.

Q. Are there any pesticides / chemicals?

We do not use any pesticides or chemicals. We grow inside an insulated shipping container and are hyper-attentive to food-safety best practices. Growing inside a controlled environment eliminates the presence of any pests. Our produce is so clean that washing it with your tap water would introduce contaminants.

Q. What can you grow?

The LGMTM is designed to efficiently grow leafy greens such as:
Brassicas (e.g. kale, swiss chard, arugula)
Lettuces (e.g. butterhead, romaine, lola rosa)
Herbs (e.g. basil, mint, oregano).

For more detailed information, please contact us.

Q. Do you home deliver?

At the moment our clients are supermarkets and restaurants. However, we are working on a solution to get our produce direct to you.

Leafy Green Machine LGMTM

Q. What is the Leafy Green Machine?

Also known as the LGMTM, the Leafy Green Machine is a pre-assembled hydroponic farm inside recycled shipping container. It is capable of producing yields at commercial-scale in any climate and any season.

Q. Where do you put the soil?

Given how unbelievable “plants growing only in water” sounds, we understand this is a genuine question. But seriously, there is no soil.

Q. Where can I place the LGMTM?

Anywhere! With methods of soilless agriculture and advanced environmental controls, the system is able to deliver consistent harvest yields regardless of the geographic features (as long as you have access to electricity and water).

Q. What is the difference between this and a green house?

An LGMTM is superior to a Green House in several ways:
1. The LGMTM is modular and ready to plug-and-play, allowing you to start farming now and scale up with ease. Building a green house requires larger land area, more time, and greater logistical resources
2. The LGMTM is optimally designer for efficient workflow requiring only 15-20 hours of labor per week
3. The LGMTM offers greater control over growing conditions (e.g. water quality, CO2 and humidity levels)
4. The LGMTM is smart, allowing for app-enabled monitoring and farming
5. Ease of use – automated dosing takes the guesswork out of growing

Q. What nutrients do the plants need to grow?

The plants require similar nutrients to traditional farming. Our fertilizer solution contains a mix of nitrates, potassium, calcium, and iron. We use a fraction of fertilizer compared to traditional outdoor farming due to our efficient, recycling delivery mechanism. Our water-based delivery mechanism is automated and precise.

Q. What can I grow in the Leafy Green Machine? And where do I get all the supplies?

You can grow a variety of leafy greens inside the LGMTM unit: Herbs (mint, basil, oregano); Lettuces (bibb, romaine, arugula); Brassica (cabbage, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, kale). And more! On a weekly basis you can expect to harvest over 500 full size heads of lettuce, or over 1,000 baby heads of lettuce. Contact us for other crop yields.

Q. Can you grow more than one type of vegetable at the same time?

This is definitely possible but we would only recommend crops with similar ideal growing conditions (temperature,humidity levels).

Q. What are the labor aspects of an LGMTM? How many working hours a week will it require?

Farming is a profession that has historically been labor intensive and unpredictable. Here at Madar Farms we pride ourselves in making it more accessible to people of all ages and lifestyles. To do that we've relied on technology, design and automation to cut down the amount of time needed to run a farm. The LGMTM requires only the core essentials: seeding, transplanting and harvesting. What some might consider a part-time job, 15-20 labors hours a week, is now the amount of time it takes to run a revenue generating farm.

The labor required to operate a Leafy Green Machine breaks down into three simple steps:
1. Plant seeds (less than 2 hours / week)
2. Transplant seedlings (6-8 hours / week)
3. Harvest the crop (6-8 hours / week)
Of course there is general maintenance to keep all the parts running smoothly but the bulk of your time will be spent handling the plants.

Weekly maintenance should average out to 2 hours/week. Main tasks include:
Refilling nutrient and pH balancing solutions
Refilling water tanks
Calibrating sensors
Cleaning towers, air conditioner, seedling station, floors, tanks, etc.

Q. What are the monthly costs of operating the LGMTM?

Costs depend on area of installation (e.g. electricity costs) but is meaningfully below monthly revenue

Q. How much water does it consume?

The LGMTM consumes just under 20-40L per day. No hard plumbing is necessary — just access to potable water (via garden hose, water jugs, etc.) is all you need.

Q. How much electricity does it consume?

On average the LGMTM consumes under 100kWh per day.

Q. How much does it grow at full capacity?

Output depends on the type of crop you are growing. For example, the container can grow ~65-70 kilos of lettuce per week.

Q. What is the weight of the container?

7.5 tonnes

Q. What are the dimensions of the container?

The Leafy Green Machine is designed using 40ft-shipping containers:
Length – 40 ft (12.2m)
Width – 8 ft (2.4m)
Height – 9 ft 6 inches (2.9m)

Q. What components are included in the LGMTM?

The following components are included inside:
o Turnkey infrastructure
o Multi-function work-station
o Automated climate controls
o Remote monitoring capability
o High efficiency LED lighting
o Multi-planed airflow system
o Automated nutrient dosing system
o Touchscreen dashboard

Q. Are you selling beyond the UAE?

We sell the LGMTM and provide training and support to the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.

Q. Can you monitor it remotely?

Yes! The LGMTM is a Smart farming system. You can access an App that shows you the conditions in your farm and provides visuals via a webcam.
Using real-time data from sensors and in-farm cameras, the app allows you to track your farm’s climate conditions, set parameters for ideal growing conditions and receive notifications should any changes occur to the environment.

You can monitor and control temperature, humidity, CO2, nutrients and pH levels inside their farm -- all directly from your mobile or laptop. The real-time status of each component inside the farm is easily accessible, so you always know how things are operating. The app offers secure cloud storage of all farm data, including climate and alarm history, equipment run-times, access logs and system settings information.

The app also helps plan, schedule and record various tasks like seeding, transplanting, and harvesting. It helps you keep a detailed record of each crop cycle by logging key metrics such as germination rate and yield numbers.

Q. What type of training is involved?

To ensure the success of each of our farmers, we offer an intensive two-day training at our Headquarters in Dubai, UAE. This involves both in-farm lessons and classroom sessions that cover all operations of the farm.

Q. How much labor is required to operate a Freight Farm? Can I run it by myself or do I need to hire a team?

Once you get up and running, we approximate that it takes about 15-20 hours per week to operate (but that varies depending on seed sites, transplanting and harvesting). While one person can manage the LGMTM, it’s just a little easier with more hands to help.

Q. If I place an order today, when will my LGMTM arrive?

It will take about two months for you to receive your LGMTM.

Q. How long does installation and set up take?

6 hours. You can hire us for installation if you wish.

Q. When can I harvest my first produce?

Your first crop will be ready for harvest 8 weeks after you plant your first seeds. From week 9 your LGMTM will be harvested weekly.

Q. How can I buy one and what are the sales methods?

We offer three purchasing options depending on your time, land, and financial resources. Do you want to farm? Do you want ethical financial gains by supporting food security?

1. Independent Grower
a. You purchase the LGMTM
b. You place it on your land
c. You can hire us for installation if you wish
d. We will provide 2-day training to 2 key operators
e. You farm and sell your own produce

2. Sustainable Champion
a. You purchase the LGMTM and we take care of everything else
b. We place it on your land
c. We will do the installation
d. Our team will farm for you
e. You can sell the produce under your own label, or we can sell it under the Madar Farms brand (in which case you will receive a monthly payout)

3. Hydroponic Patron
a. You purchase the LGMTM
b. We place it on our land
c. We will do the installation
d. Our team will farm for you
e. We will sell the produce under the Madar Farms brand
f. You will receive monthly payout

Join the Green Economy!

Q. I'm sold. Where can I order one?

Excellent. Go to our contact page and fill out the form!

 
 

For any further inquiries, please contact us ().

Our team is ready to help.