Future farming in UAE
Farming in the UAE has always been a challenge. The scarcity of water resources, limited arable land, soil salinity, harsh environmental conditions and high production costs makes it tough. On top of all that, the impact of global warming has intensified existing environmental issues. Climate change is likely to have a huge impact on food production going forward. In such a situation, embracing high-tech farming techniques and modern farming methods that makes judicious use of fast depleting natural resources and help manage extreme conditions better is the only way forward.
In spite of all difficulties, the number of farms and the area under cultivation in UAE have increased substantially in the last few decades. This is because farmers here have been early adopters, quick to accept and assimilate new methods and advances in agriculture and cultivation. They have made good use of technologies and innovations to boost productivity and overcome the unique challenges of cultivation in the desert. Greenhouses, indoor farming, vertical farming, hydroponics, precision irrigation, organic farming etc are all being tried out to various degrees in different farms.
The government has stepped up too, and recently came out with the ambitious National Food Security Strategy 2051 with a vision to become a world-leading hub for innovation-driven food security that prioritises agricultural research and development. There is growing investment in agriculture and more farmers are implementing resilient agricultural practices. With the right approach, it may not be long when UAE drastically reduces the 80 percent dependence on imports for its food needs and becomes much more self reliant.