Abu Dhabi: Many people do not look for organic vegetables and fruits when shopping despite knowing their health benefits.
The thinking behind this is that they are more expensive than conventionally-grown produce.
But locally grown organic vegetables and fruits are changing that trend as most of them are cheaper than non-organic produce, owner of Abu Dhabi Organic Farms, told Gulf News Friday.
"Only imported organic produce used to be available in the UAE market which was more expensive due to transportation costs. That created an impression that all organic products are costlier," said the Emirati farm owner who did not want to be named.
He said he did not want his name in the media as he wanted to only promote organic products.
"I represent this emirate and would like to show that Abu Dhabi can pioneer the organic farming," he said at his stall at the Organic Market organised by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Friday.
The visitors to the fair at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology purchased the organic produce.
He said among four fast moving vegetables — potato, cucumber, mix colour capsicum and lettuce, most of his products are cheaper than the non-organic produce and some have the almost same price.
The farm owner said beef tomato, a popular vegetable from his farm, is Dh5 per kilogram whereas the price of those imported from Europe, costs Dh15 per kilogram or more.
Organic lettuce costs Dh 5 to Dh6 each while a non-organic one costs Dh7 to Dh8, he said. The imported organic lettuce is much more expensive, he said. Mixed colour capsicum is Dh10, while the non-organic one costs Dh14 to Dh15, he said.
But he said non-organic cucumbers are slightly cheaper, at Dh4 per kilogram, while his produce is Dh5 per kilogram.
His 55-hectare farm, a 15-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport, produces six to seven tonnes of 60 kinds of vegetables daily.
He said it was the first internationally certified organic farm in the UAE in 2007. It has an outlet in Al Mushrif.