Why Pink Is The New Green at This Farm in Dubai
The newly-opened Badia Farms in Al Quoz uses environment friendly pink LED lights to reduce costs and speed up crop growth
The climate-controlled Badia Farms in Al Quoz 1 uses efficient low-energy pink-colured lightsImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
Badia Farms produces nearly 18 varieties of micro-greensImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
The pink-colured lights are not only cost-effective but also speed up crop growthImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
Reinventing agriculture. Omar Al Jundi, CEO and founder of Badia FarmsImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
Since these crops aren’t exposed to sunlight, they don’t lose water or energyImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
The plants are stacked on top of each other in a vertical farmImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
Omar reckons farming under pink lights may well be the future of farming in the regionImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
January 11, 2018
Dubai: A newly opened farm in Dubai has devised a unique method of growing pesticide-free veggies all year round. It uses eerie pink LED lights instead of sunlight.
Less energy, more growth
Unlike traditional indoor farms lit by high-powered fluorescent lamps, the climate-controlled Badia Farms in Al Quoz 1 basks under efficient low-energy pink-coloured lights which are not only cost-effective and durable but also speed up crop growth dramatically.
Researchers have found that plants grown under LED lights can significantly reduce greenhouse energy costs without sacrificing yield. According to them, the technique could change the way farming works.
“Since these crops aren’t exposed to sunlight, they don’t lose water or energy and therefore are far more nutritional than plants grown outdoors,” says Saudi businessman Omar Al Jundi, founder and CEO of Badia Farms which operates from a warehouse. The neon pink lights make the place look more like a nightclub than an indoor farm.
When plants are stacked on top of each other in a vertical farm, the ones at the bottom are often deprived of essential nutrients.
The only way to get around this problem is to add artificial light which could add up to costs.
Power of pink
New research shows that plants don’t necessarily need the whole spectrum of ROYGBV lights. According to scientists, pink light – a combination of red and blue wavelengths — is all that they really need to grow.
Spread over 8,500 square metres, Badia Farms produces nearly 18 varieties of micro-greens including arugula, kale, radish, red cabbage, basil and mustard.
The produce can be ordered online at www.secretsfinefood.com. “The response has been very encouraging,” said Stephanie Duriez, managing director of Secrets Fine Food. Omar reckons vertical farming under pink lights may well be the future of farming in the region. The country’s arid environment is not conducive to farming which explains why over 80 percent of food requirements comes from abroad.
“Through vertical indoor farming methods, we can dramatically reduce carbon footprints and grow leafy greens that are fresher, tastier and can be delivered from farm to table within hours,” he said.
“We are currently testing for tomatoes, capsicum, cucumbers and chilli and are quite certain we will be able to produce them soon said,” he added.
What is vertical farming?
Vertical farming is the practice of producing food and medicine in vertically stacked layers. It uses indoor farming techniques and a controlled-environment agriculture technology, where all factors can be controlled. These facilities utilize artificial control of light, environmental control (humidity, temperature, gases, etc) and can produce vegetables and plants all year around.
Products available at Badia farms (Priced at Dh15 for one punnet)
- Spicy Mustard
- Purple Mustard
- Red Cabbage
- Garlic Chives
- Cinnamon Basil
- Lemon Cinnamon
Soon to come