We are in a moment of expansion and specifically we reach agriculture in the United Arab Emirates with our sensors. We find intensive plantations and a high growth of greenhouses in soil, in hydroponics and vertically.
The technology of agriculture in the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates have a desert climate with very little rainfall, very little fresh water for irrigation and therefore they see the need to use desalinated water with the problem of converting the soils into saline as well as being sandy. 90% of its surface is desert.
These difficulties make open-air agriculture very complicated, the sandy soils have very elongated wet bulbs with a lot of runoff.
The accumulation of salts is another added difficulty for the good absorption of nutrients by the plant.
That leads to the need for investments by the UAE government in technology to create the best greenhouses in the world.
Areas with some potential for cultivation are very few compared to the UAE's land area and population density. Most are in Abu Dhabi to grow dates.
Dubai, Khaima and Sharjah are making great efforts to create opportunities for companies in agricultural technology, irrigation, agronomic engineering and hi-tech greenhouses.
Spain finds in the UAE a place of investment due to the experience we have in Mediterranean agriculture in greenhouses and intensive cultivation.
Types of greenhouses that we find
The climate loaded with hours of sunshine makes controlled greenhouses the solution for agriculture in the United Arab Emirates.
The greenhouses that are growing each year are:
- With ground planting and controlled irrigation. In this case, the sandy soil is mixed with other more loamy-loamy ones for greater profitability.
- Hydroponics with coconut fiber or rock wool with irrigation and nutrient control.
- Vertical plantations, in soil or hydroponic. Especially for seedbeds and low crops such as lettuce, escarole, chicory...
Sensors for agriculture in the United Arab Emirates, specifically in Al Ain
Our humidity, conductivity and temperature sensors are installed in a plantation with:
- Cultivation outdoors or under mesh.
- In the greenhouse like tomatoes.
All with ecological and organic agriculture.
Outdoor crops are achieved by filling furrows with composted loamy soil in the form of terraces, so that the nutrients and water do not have the runoff that a sandy soil would give.
It is an expensive but highly profitable process, also used in greenhouses, with a good irrigation system and the hours of sunshine in the UAE.
The methods used to achieve organic crops are:
- First, crop rotation to balance the needs of the plants and not deplete the soil's nutrients.
- Second pest control naturally.
- Very important to avoid chemicals.
- Finally, humidity and salinity control with sensors.
The objective is to save water and energy, give the plant the water it needs and avoid water stress. This is how they obtain quality and ecological products that they intend to market in the area so that they reach the consumer with all their properties.
The main products we find are:
- Vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, pumpkins, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, lettuce, potatoes...
- Fruits like watermelon and melon.
- Aromatic plants.
All this with compost from farms near the plantation.