Emirates has launched the world's largest hydroponic farm, "Bustanica" in Dubai, a $40 million joint venture with Crop One, an industry leader in technology-driven indoor vertical farming.
Bustanica, a 330,000 square-foots hydroponic farm located near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, is geared to produce more than 1,000,000 kilograms of high-quality leafy greens annually while requiring 95% less water than conventional agriculture, said a press release.
At any point in time, the facility grows in excess of 1 million cultivars (plants), which will provide an output of 3,000 kgs per day.
Bustanica is driven by powerful technology – machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced methods – and a highly specialised in-house team that includes agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists, and plant scientists. A continuous production cycle makes sure that the food is very fresh, clean, and not grown with chemicals or pesticides.
Passengers on Emirates and other airlines can look forward to forking these delicious leafy greens, including lettuce, arugula, mixed salad greens, and spinach, onboard their flights from July.
Bustanica is not just revolutionising salads in the sky – UAE consumers will soon be able to add these greens to their shopping carts at the nearest supermarkets. Bustanica also plans to expand into the production and sale of fruits and vegetables.
The 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, saving 250 million litres of water every year compared to traditional outdoor farming for the same output.
Emirates now operates 21 weekly flights from Dhaka and via Dubai offers convenient connections to over 130 destinations worldwide.