Abu Dhabi: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi has unveiled a Smart Home Farming Showcase called ‘Bustani’ at its Eco-Villa prototype to demonstrate emerging farming solutions that will help UAE residents produce their own food at home.
The exhibition, which will be open to the public throughout 2019, will demonstrate more than 15 innovative home solutions, around food production, water and waste recycling, said a press release issued on Thursday. These solutions, which Masdar sourced from local and international suppliers before being installed at the Masdar City Eco-Villa earlier this month, will be tested throughout the year.
The showcase is a collaboration between Masdar and the UAE-based agri-tech specialists Madar Farms, and is one of the outcomes of a partnership between the UAE Office for Food Security and Masdar.
The objective of the showcase is to highlight how progress in technology has allowed the emergence of solutions to increase food security at the home level, as well as raise awareness of the broader global challenges of sustainably and nutritiously feeding a growing population.
Mariam Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Food Security, officially opened the showcase in the presence of Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar; Yousuf Baselaib, Executive Director, Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar; and Abdul Aziz Al Mulla, CEO and Founder from Madar Farms.
Mariam commented that Smart Home Farming as showcased in Masdar City encourages self-sufficiency and reduces the burden on commercial food producers and suppliers by enabling villa-dwellers to produce food from facilities on their own premises. Smart Home Farming turns consumers into ‘prosumers’ and if initiated on a wide enough scale, could result in a new paradigm of food security for the nation, she said.
Al Ramahi, Masdar CEO, said: “Global food systems are faced with the challenge of sustainably feeding more than nine billion people by 2050. Today’s food systems are falling short of these objectives and remain both unsustainable for the environment and unable to adequately nourish a major part of the global population.” He said the smart home farming showcase demonstrates Masdar’s commitment to exploring innovative and sustainable approaches to farming.
Masdar is supporting start-up companies and entrepreneurs to develop an innovation ecosystem focused on improving food and water security for the region. One of Masdar City’s key themes for 2019 is sustainable agriculture.
Al Mulla, founder Madar Farms, said: “By showcasing innovative smart farming solutions from all over the world, we hope to raise awareness of the exciting change that is currently taking place in the ag-tech landscape.”
Launched during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017, the Eco-Villa pilot project at Masdar City incorporates various water and energy saving technologies. The 405 square-metre residential property is the first villa to achieve a 4-Pearl rating under the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System (PBRS), introduced by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities.
It uses around 72 per cent less energy and 35 per cent less water than a typical Abu Dhabi property of the same size, while displacing an estimated 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, said the press release.