From October 17 to 20 a Dutch horticultural trade mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes place. The aim of the mission is to show that the Dutch horticulture sector offers an answer to Saudi Arabia’s demand for self-sufficiency in food security. The trade mission is initiated by Dutch Greenhouse Delta (DGD) and InnovationQuarter and organized in close cooperation with the Agricultural office of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. No fewer than seventeen companies participate. Part of the trade mission includes participation in Saudi Agriculture with a joint NL booth. Saudi Agriculture is the largest B2B event of the agriculture sector in the Gulf region.
Saudi Arabia is in great need of high-tech solutions and knowledge in realizing efficient, sustainable, and safe food production. Saudi has launched a major reform program ‘Vision 2030’, which is a strategic framework to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy. It earmarks significant funding towards dramatically bolstering the country’s food production and processing power. The challenging climate, however, requires innovation and sustainability in agriculture to produce high-quality fruits and vegetables year-round. In recent years, the Saudi government as well as the business community – has shown great interest in Dutch advanced and high-tech solutions to enable the safe and secure production of food. Meanwhile, an extensive network of relationships between the Dutch horticultural sector and Saudi Arabia has been established, which led to projects with several of our partners”, Michiel F. van Ginkel, CEO of Dutch Greenhouse Delta states.
Technology, guidance, and knowledge sharing are central
This trade mission is the fourth physical trade mission within the PIB (Partners for International Business) program: HortiRoad2TheGulf; The Dutch Approach to the Globe’s Rising Demand for Self-Sufficiency in Food Security’. Within this public-private partnership, a series of activities and programs are organized to powerfully position Dutch horticulture in the Gulf region, under the leadership of Dutch Greenhouse Delta and InnovationQuarter. ‘’The demand for self-sufficiency and production of healthy, fresh food has been high on the agenda for years of several countries within the Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia’’, noticed Hans van der Beek, DGD’s Advisor of the Gulf region. Currently, much of the food required to feed the population is still imported from abroad, resulting in considerable food loss because of long transportation chains. It makes countries in the Gulf vulnerable to fluctuations in the availability of food supplies on the world market, which is strongly impacted by geopolitics, logistics, and climate change. The challenges in the Gulf region are mainly related to different climate zones, where the sustainable management of resources such as water is a major desire of the local government (Source: ‘Dutch Sustainable Greenhouse for the Gulf Region’ – Research of WUR/TNO on behalf of RVO). The PIB ‘HortiRoad2TheGulf’ can offer a solution by means of a flexible, innovative, and sustainable total concept, in which technology, guidance, and knowledge sharing are central.
Program of the trade mission
An interesting public and private program has been compiled for this trade mission. Besides participating in Saudi Agriculture with a joint booth (nr: 3-282), the PIB cluster will also contribute to the ‘Conference on Innovations for Sustainable Agriculture’ to be held at Saudi Agriculture. Furthermore, meeting with investors, project developers, and B2B matchmaking sessions are part of the program.
The incoming mission is organized by Dutch Greenhouse Delta, InnovationQuarter, and the Agricultural agency of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Riyadh and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
The following organizations participate in this promising mission: Artechno, Bayer- de Ruiter Seeds, BOM Group, Certhon, Grodan, Hatenboer-Water, Hoogendoorn Growth Management, Horti XS, Lumiforte, Koppert Biological Systems, Kubo, Priva, Ridder, Royal Brinkman, Signify, Svensson and van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects.
Image: Greenhouse in Saudi Arabia Photo credentials: Hoogendoorn Growth Management