An Emirati businessman steeped in a loaded farming tradition is reaping the rewards of his enterprising tactic to agriculture.
A actual estate manager by day, Abdullatif Al Banna, 56, spends a lot of an night tending to the countless numbers of pineapples he grows every single year at his farm in the desert of Al Aweer in Dubai.
Could is the thirty day period when he harvests far more than 4,000 of the tropical fruit, distribute throughout four greenhouses.
They are grown hydroponically ― without soil and making use of drinking water-dependent nutrient answers.
“The pineapples are extremely sweet. I do not assume we can get pineapples that are this sweet from the industry,” Mr Al Banna claimed, as he collected the fruit from the crops.
“These are the sweetest I have eaten in my daily life,”
The farm was proven in 2005 for developing dates.
But a decade in the past, Mr Al Banna resolved to experiment with pineapples and find a way to make certain they prosper in the complicated UAE desert local weather.
He and his spouse and children are now experiencing the fruits of his labours in excess of the several years — virtually, as Mr Al Banna prefers to distribute his tropical harvest among the relations and good friends, alternatively than promote it.
“I brought 300 pineapple vegetation to test which ecosystem they expand greatest in. We put some below the open up sky, some inside a greenhouse and some beneath the shade of trees,” he mentioned.
“The kinds in the greenhouse ended up the most productive.”
Following in family members footsteps
Born in 1966 in Deira, Mr Al Banna claimed his desire in farming was handed on by his father.
“My father was instructing us due to the fact we have been youthful. We had a farm in Jumeirah — in which there is now Burj Al Arab. In entrance of that place, we grew dates in the 1970s. My father would acquire us there and explain to us about farming.
“We would also go to Ras Al Khaimah for picnics and farming. Those have been beautiful days.”
Mr Al Banna stated his father encouraged him to vacation to Egypt in 1999 and begin farming there.
Now he spends component of his day at his serious estate enterprise in Organization Bay in Dubai and his evenings at the farm. Mr Al Banna and his family stay subsequent to his land.
In addition to pineapples, he grows wheat during the cooler months, manufacturing ample for his loved ones.
He also owns a farm in Ras Al Khaimah, wherever cucumbers, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and chillies are grown in 40 greenhouses.
Growing from toughness to toughness
It is not effortless to mature pineapples in the UAE’s intense local weather, Mr Al Banna states.
“It necessitates a awesome greenhouse, with not far more than 30°C, 29°C or 28°C temperature, and a little little bit of humidity. We are saving 90 for every cent of the drinking water mainly because of the hydroponics process.”
Each individual greenhouse addresses an region of 8 metres by 34 metres. They are geared up with supporters and automatic irrigation that do the job round the clock in the course of the 12 months. The pineapples are planted in reservoirs stuffed with perlite — a volcanic glass with a comparatively superior drinking water information,
When the fruit is experienced, there are commonly plantlets or suckers amongst the spiky leaves. These are eliminated and planted individually, so they grow more pineapples the upcoming yr.
Two men and women operate in the pineapple farm — an agricultural engineer and a helper. The govt also supports Mr Al Banna with some of the expenses and resources. It also ship experts and engineers to assist when essential.
The pineapples are large and juicy, weighing involving 3 to five kilograms. Nonetheless, Mr Al Banna prefers not to sell them.
“We are delighted to present these pineapples to our relatives, close friends and brothers. It is some thing exceptional as extremely few people can regulate to grow them in the desert. So, it’s useful for our individuals,” he added.
“But if somebody is keen to acquire them, I really do not refuse. In the previous, I have marketed hundreds of crops to nurseries and other people. They paid about Dh50 ($13.6) for every plant. ”
A model of sustainability
He hopes his farm can inspire individuals to imagine about food items safety.
“Every community need to have some understanding of increasing food items for himself, in circumstance there are worries in future,” he stated.
Mr Al Banna believes his farm can provide as a prototype for pineapple farming in the region.
“I imagine there is a fantastic chance for turnkey assignments for growing pineapples in each individual home. We can make a … greenhouse at each residence. We can give them plants and also just take treatment of their servicing during the 12 months.”
Up-to-date: May possibly 26, 2022, 3:00 AM