Growing food sustainably in the UAE is no easy feat. However, new technologies and innovative farming practices are pushing more city dwellers to grow vegetables, greens and herbs in their homes.
Launched in 2017, Dubai-based Greenoponics Agricultural Services, which focuses on soil-less cultivation methodologies, is a trendsetter in sustainable farming practices, helping UAE residents to start their own vegetable patches at homes, offices and commercial spaces.
“Urban farming can improve the UAE’s food security, reducing dependence on imports,” says Smitha Paresh, Executive Director, Greenoponics.
“We can provide solutions through hydroponics and aquaponics techniques, along with greenhouses and net houses for commercial, residential and institutional purposes.”
Greenoponics, which is part of the Happy Holdings group, has installed several systems on rooftops of building and in kitchen gardens at homes, at camp accommodation facilities, schools, and restaurants and institutional premises.
“Our systems have been able to yield six kgs of tomatoes per plant in three months and 20kgs of leafy greens per square metre in one month,” she says.
“Hydroponics-based techniques such as nutrient film technique (NFT) and Dutch bucket system (DBS), can be easily installed on rooftops and even on balconies, thus having many benefits,” Smitha says.
“These include 70–80 per cent less consumption of water, automated controls, lower pest attacks, guaranteed yield from less space, and highly nutritious vegetables, fruits and greens.
“Furthermore, hydroponics-based farming contributes to sustainability, food safety and security, water conservation and resource optimisation,” Smitha explains.
Greenoponics has also developed and marketed unique mini-hydroponic systems for growing various fruiting vegetables such as okra, aubergine, capsicum and gourds. Using these systems, people can grow more than 20 plants in just one square metre area.
“We have installed greenhouses and net houses, with Dronii-DBS and Eva-NFT systems, at various public schools run by the Ministry of Education, several schools of GEMS Group, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid School for Girls, Sheikh Hamdan Innovation Center for Youth and Al Ghurair farms. We will be part of Dubai EXPO at the sustainability pavilion for hydroponic systems,” she says, adding, “Greenoponics was selected by DEWA for the Innovation Week in 2018 to showcase its innovative technology. We have also bagged the Ajman University Innovation Center Award for our products and services.”
For more information on the company, visit Greenoponics.com