Small plots of land, mostly desert yellow, emerge with fear of green crops. It may not have been cultivated before. Each area is about 40 square meters. The experimental farmlands make up Masdar City Farm, east of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The Dana Business Accelerator hosts startups comprised of female entrepreneurs from the Middle East on this pilot farm, which offers a precision irrigation system based on observing every detail of the farming process.
Mikael Tsoulakis is an engineer at the Greek Revelis Irrigation Company, which has been famous for decades for working in the hottest parts of the world, such as the US state of California and Israel. Revelis is Latin for small stream, a metaphor for guided irrigation. System used by the company. Solakis arrived at Dana Farm in Masdar town six months ago to install his irrigation system. “This irrigation system saves about 85 percent of water compared to the traditional flood irrigation system. We try to implement smart irrigation systems to use the required amount of water for the plant. Grow healthy and give us high quality produce. We measure soil moisture, evaluate the soil surface,” Solakis told CNN Al-Ektisadiya. And we measure the water level of the plant, based on that and depending on the weather conditions, we can determine the appropriate watering time to meet the needs of the plant.
Nadine Bin Shafei, director of Dana Accelerator, has a strong background in food supply chains and extensive experience in agriculture from managing her family’s farm located north of the Iraqi city of Basra. At the Dana Accelerator, we allocate a suitable incubator environment to women’s emerging companies in exchange for equity in the company. Bin Shafi told CNN Al-Eqtisadiah that funding is the biggest challenge we face, especially at the founding stage and the first round of funding, which is a long journey. Applies to agriculture sector. We help startups in the early stages and give them access to the market.
Dana is in no rush to make decisions because agriculture is a slow economic activity. Ben Shafie explains, “Every time you try something new, it’s like a whole season, a year goes by. We’re not like financial technology companies. And we can’t complete an experiment in three months, which we do.” We know it well.
As for Steve Severance, Head of Development at Mustar City, he was clearly impressed by the Dana Business Accelerator and the test farms Mustar provided for emerging companies. Severance said in his interview with CNN Economic. “Can you believe that 9,000 kilograms of tomatoes can be produced on 100 square meters, the size of a medium-sized household unit? With nine startups on the site right now, it may be hard to make predictions at this point, but I see tremendous growth in the future.
The city of Masdar is considered one of the most important sustainable cities in the world. The city includes a station to generate energy from the sun and another to generate energy from the wind, a cornerstone of the UAE’s plan to become carbon neutral by mid-century.
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