UAE Vertical Farming Market to be dominated by Hydroponics Technology through 2027

The rise in investments in vertical farming and the growing adoption of modern techniques in the agriculture industry are driving the demand for vertical farming in UAE in the forecast period, 2023-2027.

According to TechSci Research report, UAE Vertical Farming Market By Region, Competition Forecast & Opportunities, 2027”, the UAE vertical farming market is expected to register an impressive CAGR in the forecast period, 2023-2027. Vertical farming represents a technique of processing food, including in a skyscraper utilized factory or shipping container, which is done in vertically stacked layers. Indoor farming methods and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) technologies are utilized for modern vertical farming methods in which the environmental conditions can be controlled. It makes the land more useful for crop production as it is a non-traditional technique of crop cultivation that offers advantages like the negligible effect of climate, better yield, use of fewer pesticides, minimal area requirement, and limited water consumption.

Vertical farming offers a higher yield than conventional farming, which is one of the major reasons for its growing popularity. The utilization of micro-climate technology within the container or greenhouse helps the plant to receive the optimal heat, humidity, and light as per the requirement of the crop. Moreover, plants are stacked in trays on a vertical farm, enabling farmers to produce enough food in a confined space.

However, the high cost set up of vertical farming systems and lack of awareness regarding the alternative farming practices in underdeveloped regions may create challenges for the market growth in the forecast period.

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The UAE vertical farming market is segmented into structure, growth mechanism, application, regional distribution, and competitive landscape.

Based on structure, the market is bifurcated into building-based vertical farms and shipping container vertical farms. Shipping container vertical farms segment is expected to hold the largest market share in the forecast period, 2023-2027. It helps grow various vegetables and fruits such as leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, gourmet, and strawberries.

Based on the growth mechanism, the market is divided into hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics. The hydroponics segment dominates the vertical farming market on account of its utilization in vertical farming. Hydroponics refers to the technique of growing plants that are free of soil. It utilizes water, which infuses it with nutrients and minerals. Hydroponics enables the inflow of water, sunlight, and air into the plants. It uses hollowed pipes for the cultivation of crops. These pipes are known as gullies, which assist in the maximization of crop production. The rise in awareness among farmers about the benefits of using hydroponics in the UAE is the segment growth over the forecast period.

Based on application, the market is segmented into outdoor and indoor. The indoor segment is expected to share the largest market from the application segment in the vertical farming market. The modern ideas of vertical farming utilize indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture technology where all environmental factors can be controlled.

The major market players operating in the UAE vertical farming market are:

  • AS Agri and Aqua LLP
  • Sarya Holdings
  • Crop One Holdings & Emirates Flight Catering
  • Madar Farms
  • GreenFactory Emirates
  • UNS Vertical Farms
  • AeroFarms AgX LTD

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“The decreasing food import dependency in the Middle Eastern countries and the enhancing focus on various ways to fuel their domestic food production by participating in modern agriculture practices such as vertical farming. In addition to this, the extreme climatic conditions and the escalating consumer demand for locally produced green vegetables are propelling the market growth. Vertical farming is aiding in improving food security, which makes it the most preferred approach for food production across UAE. The demand for hydroponics technique is increasing as plant-growing with the help of hydroponic mechanism can survive for a longer time since it can constantly provide water and nutrients, which is accelerating the agriculture industry are projected to drive the UAE vertical farming market growth till 2027” said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm.

Rise in Demand for Hydroponics Technique Augments the Market Growth

Hydroponics represents the technique of producing food without the use of soil. In this procedure, plants are grown utilizing the mineral solution in water inserted around the plant roots. The increasing water crisis in the Middle East region is the primary factor contributing to the escalating demand for hydroponic methods. The hydroponic is considered the growth mechanism that helps eliminate the risk associated with soil organisms causing diseases. Moreover, it is a cost-effective technique as compared to other growth mechanisms and offers more return–on–investment. In case of a power outage, plant-growing under the hydroponic mechanism can survive for a longer period since it can constantly provide required nutrients and water to the plants. Also, the adoption of hydroponic systems is beneficial agricultural practice for desert land, which is another driver for the UAE vertical farming market.

Need to Boost Food Security Supports the Market Growth

The rise in the need for food security due to the increasing population in the UAE is stimulating vertical farming market growth. As per the survey, approximately 80% population of the UAE are migrant residents, and this number is growing at a rapid rate in the country. The increased demand for food to feed such a massive population with varied taste palates boosts the popularity of unconventional farming practices. Along with this, hydroponic systems allow farmers to manage the plant growth and nutrient supply, thereby supporting sustainable, affordable, and healthy food systems in the country.

Increasing Popularity of Leafy Vegetables Drives the Market Growth

Vertical farming offers a higher yield than conventional farming, which helps produce locally fresh leafy vegetables. The greenhouse utilization enables plants to receive the optimal heat, humidity, light, and other conditions per the crop's requirement, propelling the market growth. Moreover, in vertical farming, plants are stacked high in trays that allow the farm to produce more leafy vegetables in a confined space. Stacking plants vertically enables a farmer to grow numerous plants in space. Researchers are focusing on integrating the indoor vertical farmers within the specialty-crop segment to expand the agriculture industry, which is expected to act as a positive factor for the UAE vertical farming market.

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