With an emphasis on food security and using new technologies to achieve that goal, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture opened in Abu Dhabi on April 1, with over 310 exhibitors from around the world taking part.
Among the innovative technologies on display was the mini green house that is run by artificial intelligence. Developed and produced by UAE based Gracia Farms — an agriculture company supported by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development — the AI greenhouse is aimed at private homeowners who are looking to plant and grow their own food.
“This initiative is targeted for people who want to plant and grow their own vegetables in their garden. Our goal is to facilitate that process in a way that makes it very easy and simple for them to do so as our green houses are operated with an AI system that does the majority of the work,” said Hamed Al Hamed, the founder and chief executive officer of Gracia Farms.
“The mini greenhouse has a control panel with options for temperature control, fanning, lighting and water irrigation. All the owner has to do is set the control panels accordingly — such as when they want to water the plants or when they want to cool the plants and so on, after which the AI features of the greenhouse go into effect doing the work,” he added.
“The greenhouse basically does everything by itself, it controls the temperature, the humidity and the water intake, and so it’s a real step towards smart farming,” he said.
Al Hamed also pointed out to the eco-friendly features of the mini greenhouse.
“The water that is used is recyclable and so we’re not wasting or using a lot of water. The greenhouse is also very energy efficient and doesn’t use much electricity, it doesn’t have a compressor.
“There is an option to have the mini green house come with solar panels as well to make it even more eco-friendly, but this costs a bit more for consumers who opt for this,” he added.
Al Hamed said the mini green house comes in different sizes with prices ranging from Dh2,000 ($545) to Dh12,000($3270).
“We have a few different sizes for homeowners to choose from according to their needs. The biggest mini green house is able to fit 288 plants.”
Al Hamed also pointed out that the company has developed a mini greenhouse specifically for children as well.
“This is the first kind of greenhouse in the world for children, we’re the only ones who have created a greenhouse for children to allow them to get closer to agriculture and to love the concept of planting.
“The greenhouse for children can fit around 15 plants, and also comes with an application that lets them control the greenhouse through their Ipad or smartphone,” he added.
This edited article first appeared in Gulf News.