BayWa sees success in first year of UAE tomato greenhouse project
Germany-based BayWa AG has seen had a positive first year with its tomato greenhouses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Created through a joint venture with Al Dahra Holding in Abu Dhabi, the project optimized production-related processes and expanded by introducing four varieties to its greenhouses.
BayWa says that this is a demonstration of how climate-controlled greenhouses can grow fruiting vegetables in difficult climates.
Head of global produce at BayWa Benedikt Mangold says: "Over the last year we have built up very important knowledge in this area. And we have become even more convinced that we should continue and expand our greenhouse production".
Throughout this past year, BayWa has monitored and adapted its process management in the country. The company says that the specific, challenging production conditions in the UAE have pushed it to "optimize accordingly". BayWa also diversified its range to include snack tomatoes and beef tomatoes, among others.
This project comes in response to the challenge of self-sufficiency in planting vegetables in regions that face the threats of climate change.
Such is particularly true for the UAE, a country that imports 89% of its tomatoes. The climate means that there is no domestic production between July and October.
BayWa says that its greenhouses solve this problem.
“We continued producing through the Arabian summer, thereby showing that we can continually supply the domestic market, 365 days a year – as planned,” comments BayWa.
BayWa's focus in the UAE
Consumers in the UAE have high standards when it comes to tomatoes. BayWa states that it is focused on ensuring that its tomatoes compete with the highly regarded European tomatoes.
Its tomatoes meet the same high-quality standards, says the company. It also points out that they are cheaper than imported European tomatoes.
BayWa states that, along with its lower retail price, its tomatoes have a "significantly better environmental footprint". The local greenhouses provide consumers with a close-to-home product that is of the same quality as imported products, says BayWa.