10:55 uur 05-12-2016

Studenten van AURAK implementeren verticale landbouw

RAS AL KHAIMAH, Verenigde Arabische Emiraten–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Studenten van de American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) hebben voor het eerst verticale landbouw geïmplementeerd in de moeilijke klimatologische omstandigheden van de Verenigde Arabische Emiraten.

Het project is opgezet door de twee jonge biotechnologiestudenten Najath Abdulkareem en Nada Anwar en maakte deel uit van de tweede Innovatieweek van de VAE. Dit is een jaarlijks terugkerend initiatief van de premier van de VAE, sjeik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Dr. Abdul Gafoor Puthiyaveetil, voorzitter van het biotechnologieprogramma van de universiteit, was supervisor van de twee studenten. Over het belang van het onderzoek zei hij: “Met de snelle bevolkingsgroei op deze planeet telt de aarde in 2050 naar verwachting 8,5 miljard mensen. Voedselproductie is dan belangrijker dan ooit. De studenten hebben het idee van verticale landbouw toegepast als innovatieve methode om de immer groeiende vraag het hoofd te bieden.”



AURAK Students Successfully Implement Vertical Farming


RAS AL KHAIMAH, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Students at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) have successfully implemented vertical farming for the first time within the context of the harsh climate of the United Arab Emirates.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161204005004/en/

Najath Abdulkareem (L) and Nada Anwar (R) display the herbs they have successfully grown at home usi ... Najath Abdulkareem (L) and Nada Anwar (R) display the herbs they have successfully grown at home using the vertical farming system (Photo: ME NewsWire)

The project, which was prepared by two junior biotechnology students, Najath Abdulkareem and Nada Anwar, was one of several submitted by the university as part of the UAE’s second annual Innovation Week, an initiative mandated by the prime minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Dr. Abdul Gafoor Puthiyaveetil, chair of the university’s biotechnology program, supervised the two students. Discussing the significance of the research, Dr. Abdul Gafoor stated, “With the rapidly increasing population of the planet, we expect the earth’s population to reach 8.5 billion by 2050. Food production is more important than ever. The students have adapted the idea of vertical farming as an innovative method of dealing with this ever-increasing demand.”

Vertical farming allows plants to be grown indoors, using a tiered platform, with a combination of sunlight and LED lights. Dr. Abdul Gafoor was quick to list off the advantages of such a system, explaining, “As all the growth takes place indoors, this strategy of self-sustainability does not require the use of herbicides and pesticides, effectively making this a source of healthier food for individual homes.”

Demonstrating their project during the innovation exhibition at Ras Al Khaimah’s Exhibition Center, Najath and Nada showed how the tiered platform minimizes the space required to grow herbs and vegetables, while maximizing efficient water-use; once the top layer is watered, the water filters down to lower levels. It was also pointed out that the controlled indoor environment led to quicker growth.

The students went on to emphasize the low-cost nature of the project, commenting, “We bought all of these plastic containers at our local supermarket. Then it is just a case of assembling the pieces and buying soil and seeds.”

Najath and Nada have successfully grown the likes of basil, parsley, rosemary and mint within their own homes. It is hoped that further research could lead to this system becoming popular among individual households, as well as being implemented for large-scale food production.

*Source: ME NewsWire


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