Middle East countries, especially Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are using hydroponics to reduce their high dependability on food imports and grow food locally on a low budget. The technology of soilless farming allows growers to keep costs down in arid conditions, as it uses far less water than traditional growing methods.
Most of the Middle East countries imports 75- 90% of the food they eat, as the region is highly arid and the climatic conditions throughout the year in the region is not so supportive for conventional farming. This is a great concern for the future food security of this fast developing region, where many of the urban cities are already overcrowded.
Now the high tech agricultural practice called hydroponics widely in practice, and according to the statistics the technology is capable to reduce the region’s food import needs up to a great extend. It can provide quality food grown locally for the big mass, for comparatively lesser costs.
Hydroponics is the science of growing plants in water, with no soil. The price of hydroponically grown herbs and vegetables, which are locally grown in the Middle East are lesser than the price of the same in many European countries. These can be possible only because they doesn’t require a long way travel to reach their local markets or consumers.
Now there are facilities in UAE with the capacity to produce even 500 to 600 tons of fresh leafy vegetables and herbs in a single day and all such farms in the country are running without any harmful pesticides.
What makes hydroponic more suit for this particular region of the world is, the technology is much more water efficient than any other farming method. There won’t be any water evaporation through soil and no agricultural runoff as the plants are being grown in closed facilities, in a controlled environment.