Hoping to use their green thumbs to revolutionize vegetable farming in Egypt, Tulima Farms uses technology and ancient Egyptian farming techniques to help modernize climate-positive farming.
“Farming should give more to people and the planet, more than it takes. That’s where we stand,” Zeina Salama, Co-Founder of Tulima, tells CairoScene. “It’s not about recycling or using less water, but about changing the way we think. We increase yields by saving valuable fresh water on the smallest possible plot of land, using the least energy, and strictly avoiding harmful chemicals.”
Meaning ‘Let us farm’ in an African Bantu language, Tulima’s story begins on a farm in El Beheira, two hours away from Cairo. Tulima grows its products vertically and hydroponically in nutrient-rich water. Tulima’s founders believe that change happens in unity, with the participation of communities.
Tulima has two locations: their 25,000sqm of advanced, data-driven, climate-controlled greenhouse in El Beheira and their newly-established CityFarms, a 40ft mobile shipping container in Heliopolis that has been upcycled and transformed into a full farm with a dynamic LED system and climate control. They can use 25 liters of water a week to grow a yield equivalent to 2.5 acres.
“We can grow up to 13,000 plants at a time, all while being able to move anywhere in the world and still function at maximum capacity,” Salama explains. “This technology saves a lot of the urban problems facing the world today.”