Farms in the Desert

Heptagon Capital

Heptagon Capital
Visit: Heptagon Capital


Fund Manager at Heptagon Capital

Dubai, a place which receives less than 30 days of rain a year, may not seem the most obvious place for the future of farming. However, it is precisely because of its climate – when your author was there last week, the temperature reached 35 degrees – that Dubai stands at the forefront of farming innovation. Owing to the limited arable land and water in the region, the United Arab Emirates currently imports c90% of its food. When it comes to solutions, the only way (for the region, and others too) is therefore up.

Emirates Crop One (which operates under the brand name Bustanica) opened its doors this summer close to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. It is the largest vertical farm in the world. Although your author was sadly unable to visit on this occasion, Bustanica is an impressive sight, covering 330,000 square feet (or 3,065 square metres). The facility aims to harvest around 1000 tonnes of produce a year. Bustanica – which translates roughly as “your garden” – will begin with spinach, lettuce and kale, but there are plans to expand the range of fruits and vegetables produced with time.

We have noted for some time that the world needs to embrace agtech in order to help match food supply requirements with growing food demands. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also reinforced the need for countries to think increasingly strategically about their food sources, as we discussed earlier this year. Bustanica is therefore both a logical and necessary innovation. From an environmental perspective, there is also a lot to like. Given its temperature-controlled environment, the facility apparently uses 95% less water than is required to grow comparable crops in a field. Furthermore, no pesticides or fertilisers are used. Although the plant is currently powered by conventional energy sources, the intention is for Bustanica to move to solar over time.

Expect to see more vertical farms springing up around the world. The US already boasts over 2000, Japan has 200 and China over 80 (all data here). As with other industries, falling technology costs and increasing scale benefits are seeing the size and sophistication of such farms improve each year. The global market for vertical farming was worth $3.1bn in 2021, but with some consultants forecasting a 20%+ CAGR over the next five years, the market could reach $10bn in value by the middle of the decade.

Originally Posted November 14, 2022 – Farms in the desert

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income

Disclosure: Heptagon Capital

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document.

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital’s prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital’s prior written consent.

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
fax +44 20 7070 1881

Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

Information posted on IBKR Traders’ Insight that is provided by third-parties and not by Interactive Brokers does NOT constitute a recommendation by Interactive Brokers that you should contract for the services of that third party. Third-party participants who contribute to IBKR Traders’ Insight are independent of Interactive Brokers and Interactive Brokers does not make any representations or warranties concerning the services offered, their past or future performance, or the accuracy of the information provided by the third party. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material is from Heptagon Capital and is being posted with permission from Heptagon Capital. The views expressed in this material are solely those of the author and/or Heptagon Capital and IBKR is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the material. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such security. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

In accordance with EU regulation: The statements in this document shall not be considered as an objective or independent explanation of the matters. Please note that this document (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination or publication of investment research.

Any trading symbols displayed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray recommendations.

Disclosure: Futures Trading

Futures are not suitable for all investors. The amount you may lose may be greater than your initial investment. Before trading futures, please read the CFTC Risk Disclosure. A copy and additional information are available at