Elite Agro Increases the Production Area of Blueberries Cultivated in the UAE for the Next Season
- Dec. 27, 2022
- FMCG HORECA BUSINESS
Elite Agro (EAG), a prominent producer and distributor of fresh produce in the United Arab Emirates, has increased its blueberry production area, extending the harvest season and introducing new types of the famous superfood.
Elite Agro's premium brand of blueberries, 'Elite Berry,' is reintroducing locally-grown blueberries from its Al Foah Farm with three new types that are distinctive to the area. In addition to the well-known "Eureka" gigantic blueberry, the farm also cultivates the varieties Eureka Sunrise, Dazzle, and Masena to diversify and extend the harvest season, which runs from the end of December to June.
This year, blueberries will be cultivated on an area of 25.8 hectares at the Al Foah farm, which will include 40 greenhouses and more than double the previous amount of 12 hectares. Each greenhouse is home to 3,350 blueberry plants that flourish in a climate-controlled, technologically-advanced environment.
Dr. Abdulmonem Almarzooqi, CEO and Managing Director of Elite Agro Holding, stated, "By planting new varieties of blueberries that are paired with sustainable farming techniques, we continue to build on our success of supplying locally produced blueberries to UAE consumers, in line with our ambitions to support food security through sustainable farming."
Blueberries were initially planted at Elite Agro's Al Foah Farm in 2017 in order to serve the local market with high-quality, locally-grown product that dramatically lowers the time from farm to shelf while keeping flavor and freshness. By extending the harvest season, Elite Agro will be able to offer UAE shops with locally-grown blueberries for almost eight months of the year, therefore reducing the carbon footprint caused by blueberry imports.
The enterprise has seen successive years of great harvests, boosting its blueberry production to 280 tons earlier this year from 210 tons in 2021. It plans to raise output to over 400 tons in the next season, ensuring customers have access to the freshest, highest-quality, locally-grown blueberries for longer.
"Sustainability is crucial to our operations and the crops we cultivate. Dr. Almarzooqi continued, "By introducing natural pollination and pest control, due to the bumblebee families that reside on our fields, and supported by cutting-edge agricultural practices."
Elite Agro is adopting solutions at its Al Ain farm that unite nature and technology in a relationship that yields optimum output and high-quality products via sustainable agriculture.
Elite Agro utilizes precision irrigation technology with sophisticated water-saving capabilities to make micro watering through a drip system more accessible, less labor-intensive, and hence more cost-effective. Through this technique, a unique blend of fertilisers are dispersed by combining them with water.
The blueberry saplings are planted in a growth medium consisting of coco peat, perlite, and other ingredients that have been formulated specifically for blueberries. Analysis of the soil and leaves on a regular basis fosters the development of individual plants.
Blueberries are gaining prominence as a "superfood" due to the belief that they have one of the highest quantities of antioxidants among common fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants shield the body from cell-damaging free radicals that lead to aging and illness.
In 2013, EAG farms in the UAE provided the local market with 17,447 tonnes of fruits and vegetables. As the leading potato and blueberry grower in the UAE, in addition to growing a broad variety of other crops, the company's objective is to improve the resilience of the UAE's agricultural economy, lower its carbon footprint, and serve local customers with high-quality fresh products.
Customers may purchase Elite Berry Blueberries from premier merchants such as Spinneys, Carrefour, and others.