RedSea, the KSA AgTech business enabling commercial farming in hot environments globally, has partnered with the Saudi Downtown Company (SDC) to build and operate RedSea greenhouses at SDC locations across the Kingdom. The partnership will allow for deploying sustainable agriculture technologies that can benefit everyone. The downtown projects, mixed-use developments, will enhance the quality of life and promote economic growth across 12 Saudi cities. The RedSea greenhouses will be designed to provide fresh, high-quality produce to local communities, aligning with the Kingdom’s vision and quality of life objectives by enhancing green spaces.
RedSea is a KSA-made company that provides world-class expertise in sustainable agriculture technologies for hot climates. The company’s technologies have been proven in its 6-hectare facility near Riyadh and its research and development facility in KAUST. RedSea’s technology spans from the roots of the fruits and vegetables to the greenhouse’s roof, ensuring a robust and science-based design. Ryan Lefers, CEO and co-founder of RedSea, expressed excitement about the collaboration with SDC, highlighting the advanced technologies and sustainability of the greenhouses. He noted that the facilities would serve as experience centers for community visitors and provide agriculture education and economic advantages. In addition, the partnership will bring a new level of sustainable agriculture to Saudi Arabia and provide local communities with fresh, high-quality produce.
The Growth CEA Has Seen In Saudi Arabia
As a result of new projects, investments, or collaborations announced by private and public firms to expand their presence in the kingdom, Saudi Arabia has experienced tremendous growth in the controlled environment agriculture industry. Beginning in 2023, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture announced a plan to spend over $1 billion to increase the nation’s plant resources and greenhouses by 2025. AeroFarms and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) signed a joint venture agreement to create indoor vertical farms across the larger MENA area on February 1st, 2023. In addition, Pure Harvest Smart Farms, located in the UAE, has partnered with Nadec Foods to produce 27 hectares shortly, with further development anticipated.
Red Sea and SAUDIA, the Saudi flag carrier, have formed an agreement to provide passengers with locally-made food alternatives during flights and in airport lounges. Except for a few oasis areas, Saudi Arabia is a desert nation with limited access to arable land. Despite this, the country’s agriculture industry is one of the most significant in the region, producing various crops from watermelon to wheat and potatoes. Although the KSA program for agricultural growth was effective, it still had to deal with issues including soil deterioration, the depletion of groundwater supplies, and high water and energy costs. The government provided farmers with incentives and subsidies to encourage them to embrace modern agricultural practices and invest in new machinery and technology to address these problems. Unfortunately, this initiative also damaged the country’s groundwater supplies, stalling the sector for almost two decades (1990-2010). With the advent of CEA (both greenhouses in vertical farms), the government has undertaken various development initiatives to promote the expansion of agriculture in the nation, such as NEOM and the Red Sea Project.
Image provided by RedSea
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