Feb 14, 2018Pegasus shows hydroponics techniques, expansion plans
Pegasus Food Futures showed off its pioneering hydroponic farming facilities at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GGIA) Exhibition in Abu Dhabi on February 5-6, at the same time unveiling ambitious plans for its expansion in 2018.
At GFIA, the Pegasus team was on hand to talk to hundreds of potential investors from a diverse array of backgrounds, along with many representatives from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment during the two-day conference.
“We were overwhelmed with the positive responses from the delegates at GFIA,” Mahmood Almas, Chairman and Founder of Pegasus Agriculture said in a news release. “There was much interest from businesses in the retail and wholesale sectors in securing produce from our farms for their consumers across the GCC.”
Ambitious plans for 2018
Pegasus Food Futures also unveiled ambitious plans for the global expansion of their hydroponic farms in 2018.
Having acquired farms in Abu Dhabi and Portugal last year, 2018 sees major expansion plans for Pegasus. These include the creation of an Agricultural City within the UAE, featuring not just agricultural land and greenhouses but also an education and discovery centre for the public, a pre-packaging facility for mixed salad bags and a research and development centre. Produce will include lettuce, tomatoes, beans, peppers, herbs and other salad items.
Finally, the two farm sites acquired in Portugal are earmarked for the production of crops to supply the UK market with premium, hydroponically grown strawberries and salad leaves, under the brand name PICCD. PICCD and the Pegasus-owned Dive Coconut Water were both talking points at the GFIA.
The hydroponic system is a soil-less culture for crops in which water and nutrients are delivered directly to the roots of the plant, dispensing with the need for the plant to expend precious energy growing long roots through the soil to reach these vital ingredients. Produce is grown in advanced, environmentally- friendly greenhouses, equipped with technology that controls and monitors each plant’s nutrient intake with optimum accuracy.
The design of the hydroponic farming systems ensures that the system uses up to 90 percent less water than traditional agriculture. Not only does this preserve precious natural resources, it also helps to reduce costs. This is particularly important for farms located in arid regions like the GCC, where water is scarce. Hydroponic farms in such regions can make use of the long periods of natural sunlight and produce affordable crops that reduce the need for the region to rely on expensive imports. Moreover, the controlled conditions mean the crops require no pesticides and produce consistently high yields.
Above: One of the Pegasus Food Futures hydroponic farms, growing leafy greens in Abu Dhabi (PRNewsfoto/Pegasus Food Futures)