UAE – Abu Dhabi University (ADU) has unveiled its first on-campus AirFarm, as part of its Innovate Strategy (ADUi) efforts focused on accelerating sustainable and innovative agricultural solutions.

The inflatable and portable farm is a product of their partnership with Midbar, a smart ag-tech South Korean company, and H.E. Rashed Bin Khalfan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri Holding company (RBK).

ADU says that the AirFarm is designed to be a mobile hydroponics farm that will be used to grow potatoes and tomatoes without the use of soil.

With this facility, the campus hopes to further its innovation initiatives to offer educators, students, and the larger UAE community inclusive, sustainable solutions to problems and a platform for creative thought.

It also anticipates that the space will give the faculty and students the chance to positively impact the UAE community and demonstrate the country’s commitment to an innovative and sustainable future.

This will be achieved by offering opportunities for hands-on learning, encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration, promoting innovation, and supporting sustainable solutions in agriculture.

The project integrates more than 15 state-of-the-art solutions with a variety of technologies, including the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to establish a sustainable environment for food security and agriculture, revealed the project participants.

 “At ADU, we are dedicated to nurturing an environment that not only encourages innovation and critical thinking but also empowers our students to develop groundbreaking ideas that will shape a more sustainable future for generations to come,” Professor Ghassan Aouad, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University (ADU), stated.

This project is timely as the vertical farming in UAE is fast gaining popularity with numerous firms fully embracing the technology.

Recently, Dubai opened its first vertical farm with iFarm technologies in the UAE as reported by AgriTech Tomorrow.

according to the report, the city opened the Green Farm, which is a 30-minute drive from the heart of Dubai spanning a 784m² industrial building, optimizes space usage with vertical multi-level racks for seedlings and plants, resulting in a total growing area of 712m².

The farm aims to grow over 3 tons of produce per month with a focus on serving the premium retail and HoReCa sectors.

The ultra-fresh greens and herbs will be supplied to restaurants, hotels, and resorts in Dubai, as well as retail chains such as Spinneys, Geant, Grandiose and Carrefour.

Consistent with the report, the UAE’s farm is the first in the world to grow crops using the new iFarm Multigreens technology.

iFarm Multigreens allows a variety of crops to be grown in the same space: microgreens, baby leaves, multiple herb varieties, leafy greens, and edible flowers.

Globally, the Vertical Farming Market size is estimated at USD 12.90 billion in 2023, and is expected to reach USD 21.06 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 10.30% during the forecast period (2023-2028).

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