Together with several leaders in the Dutch horticultural sector, Koppert Biological Systems is helping to build the largest automated and data-driven vegetable growing facility in the United Arab Emirates. The 3-hectare farm is located in Abu Dhabi and will produce 9 million head of lettuce per year.
Armela Farms is making use of specialist technologies from top Dutch suppliers such as Van der Hoeven Horticultural Products, Hoogendoorn Growth Management, Green Production Systems, Rijk Zwaan, Patron Agri Systems, Jiffy and Koppert Biological Systems – each of them experts in their fields.
Launched in 2016, the Armela Farms’ R&D has spent more than two years looking into automated and data-driven techniques such as climate control, biological control of pests and diseases and more. Their first harvest was in August 2018 and Armela Farms have now achieved an increase of more 250% in production since that date. The facility will be officially opened during the first quarter of 2021.
Demand for high quality produce
"This is an important region when it comes to producing food with less input but higher yields and quality," says Export Manager MENA & India, Yassin Lahiani. "The experience gained in the Mediterranean regions such as Spain and Morocco are already being applied in the Middle East for many years. We will support Armela Farms with all the solutions and expertise to fulfil the ever-growing demand for high quality produce in the Gulf region."
The CEO and founder of Armela Farms, Avir Shah, says they aim to produce products that exceed the community’s expectations and reduce the reliance on imported, highly-priced products. "We can achieve this vision by utilizing available resources and transforming them into a hi-tech, sustainable food production facility in accordance with the country’s vision of national food security and self-sustainability."