First saffron farm in UAE launches in Sharjah

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Sharjah unveils first saffron farm in the UAE

Veggitech, an agritech company, launched Sharjah’s first Saffron farm, the first of its type in the UAE and the largest in the Mena region, encompassing only 165sqm but comparable to 3.5 hectares of land on average.

Working under the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy for 2051, Sharjah-based Veggitech is taking agriculture to new heights through an efficient supply chain and advanced technology, with the primary goal of boosting agriculture and democratizing growth 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 innovative technology to manage the entire farming process, from temperature control to irrigation systems.

Vertical farm technology will yield healthier crops with less fertilizer and pesticide use, as well as less land utilization and water consumption, resulting in a more sustainable production cycle.

Saffron is commonly referred to as “red gold” because of its prestigious worth and reputation as the most expensive spice in the world since only a small portion of the flower is used and the laborious extraction procedure.

Chairman of Snasco Holding Group, Saleh Nasser Al Sorayai stated: “Agritech is one of the key pillars within the UAE National Food Security Strategy 2051 and the Global Food Security Index. Our Saffran project is just another demonstration and proof that the UAE is the right place to take this mission forward, given the support from the government. We are looking forward to being a key player in the nation’s mission as we continue to expand our indoor vertical farming ventures in the UAE and create educational programmes that promote urban farming, ultimately contributing to food security and production.”

“In our first harvest each bulb will produce 3-4 strands of saffron but next year we would expect 12-15 strands and this will only continue to grow over time. 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, a very exciting time indeed and a huge step for the UAE,” said Dr. Ardalan Ghilavizadeh who joined Veggitech to lead on the Saffron project. BKM/ Expat Media


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