There are major changes afoot in Saudi Arabia. One key strategy is to convert the country from an economy that is dependent on oil to one with a broader basis.

The aim is to increase incomes and economic and social development and to create more jobs for the relatively young population by making agricultural production more sustainable. To begin with, the focus will be on improving the efficiency of water and energy usage and reducing the use of pesticides in the production of fruit, vegetables and dates by applying modern technology and providing training for local growers. At present, 80 percent of the available water in the country goes to agriculture and horticulture.

Partly due to the success of the Estimadah project, in which our Greenhouse Horticulture business unit is working on improving water efficiency in greenhouses, the Saudi Ministry of the Environment, Water and Agriculture has asked us to carry out a major four-year project with demo farms set up at existing operations all over the country. We will be responsible for setting up the project as well as for data collection, analysis and communication.