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Emirates flight catering opens world’s largest vertical farm – Business Traveller


Bustanica will annually save in excess of 250 million litres of water. The farm’s closed-loop system is designed to circulate water through the plants to maximise water usage and efficiency. When the water vaporises, it is recovered and recycled into the system, saving 250m litres of water every year compared to traditional outdoor farming for the same output.

The farm will produce over 1 million kgs of produce that are free of pesticides, herbicides and chemicals. At any point in time, the facility will grow in excess of 1 million cultivars (plants) which will provide an output of 3,000 kgs per day, with the first plants being served on board Emirates flights from Dubai from this month. UAE consumers will also soon be buy the greens in supermarkets. The farm also plans to expand into the production and sale of fruits and vegetables.

Bustanica uses “machine learning, artificial intelligence and advanced methods – and a highly specialised in-house team that includes agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists and plant scientists.” The farm has a continuous production cycle and all the produce is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals. Consumers buying Bustanica’s greens from supermarkets can eat it straight from the bag – even washing can damage the leaves and introduce contaminants.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “Long-term food security and self-sufficiency are vital to the economic growth of any country, and the UAE is no exception. We’ve specific challenges in our region, given the limitations around arable land and climate. Bustanica ushers in a new era of innovation and investments, which are important steps for sustainable growth and align with our country’s well-defined food and water security strategies.

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