Vertical Farming is a new form of agriculture where crops are cultivated in indoor facilities. The crops are stacked in dark warehouses with UV lights and are artificially calibrated to promote optimal growing conditions for the crops to flourish. The methodologies are designed to save water consumed and harvest produce faster, all year around.

There are two main models used, hydroponics and aeroponics. The former is where plants are grown in a nutrient-rich basin of water and the latter is where roots are periodically sprayed with a mist containing water and nutrients. Aeroponics uses less water overall, but is technically more difficult to execute.

Urban Crops, a Belgian company, uses hydroponics and says that vertical farming yields more crops per square metre than traditional farming or greenhouses do.

Value for Dubai

Vertical farming facilities can technically be built anywhere and are unaffected by changing seasons. Given Dubai’s unique climate, companies such as Urban Crops could support the city’s ‘Grow Your Food’ initiative which aims to support the vision of Dubai Municipality – to build a happy and sustainable city through the promotion of food security.