Veggitech unveiled Sharjah’s first Saffron farm, the first of its kind in the UAE and what seems to be the largest in the Mena region, spanning only 165sqm but capable of producing what traditional farming would do in 3.5 hectares as reported by Gulf Today.
Working in conjunction with the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy for 2051, Veggitech aims to revamp traditional agriculture and provide efficient technologies with the primary goal of boosting agriculture and democratizing growth in light-assisted hydroponics systems and penetration for a mass movement in urban farming.
Veggitech launched its first Saffron farm project this summer, with harvest expected to peak at the end of November.
The Veggitech ‘Red Gold’ farm includes fully integrated smart systems to manage the entire farming process resulting in a more sustainable production cycle.
Agritech is one of the essential pillars of the UAE National Food Security Strategy 2051 and the Global Food Security Index, according to Saleh Nasser Al Sorayai, chairman of Snasco Holding Group. “With the backing of the government, the UAE is the ideal location to carry out this task, as evidenced by our Saffran initiative. As we continue to grow our indoor vertical farming businesses in the UAE and develop educational initiatives that support urban farming, we look forward to playing a significant role in the country’s mission. This will ultimately increase food production and security.” He Continues.
“Each bulb will yield 3–4 strands of saffron during our first harvest, but we anticipate 12–15 strands the next year, and this will only increase over time. A very exciting time indeed and a huge step for the UAE”, according to Dr. Ardalan Ghilavizadeh, who joined Veggitech to lead on the Saffron project. “Our inaugural saffron vertical farm currently houses approximately 5 tonnes of saffron bulbs, from which we would expect 1000kg of saffron crocus and from this 3kg of World’s Best Super Negin.
Image provided by Veggitech