Sustainable vegetable production in Saudi Arabian desert under 80 hectares of glass

Mon 07/12/2020 by Richard Wilkinson
Sustainable vegetable production in Saudi Arabian desert under 80 hectares of glass

Dava corporation, owned by the Al Batal family, recently signed a new deal with Debets Schalke for the expansion of Dava’s glasshouse facilities in the Al-Kharj region of Saudi Arabia. In response to increased demand for fresh premium quality vegetables, Dava corporation is announcing a series of greenhouse projects designed to provide sustainably farmed and locally grown vegetables. In 2019, Dava corporation entered into a partnership with Debets Schalke for a 44 hectares greenhouse complex. Together with the 36 hectares expansion, the firm will own 80 hectares of glass acreage. The deal is part of the Vision 2030 that contributes to sustainable developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

The Dava project, which will cover more than 80 hectares, is spread over 5 high technology greenhouse projects. At this moment the construction is in full swing. The first greenhouse project is almost complete and the second greenhouse project is at an advanced stage. Debets Schalke has started the engineering and delivering of the greenhouse materials for the other 3 greenhouse projects at the different locations in the AlKharj region. Groundwork is completed at these projects.


Wim van Weele, sales export manager at Debets Schalke, said:

“Plans for the massive expansion were already on the table before the CoVid19 outbreak. The global outbreak underlined the importance of food independence and food safety. Of course, the CoVid19 outbreak meant we also had to be inventive in order to remotely supervise the greenhouse project with an eye for detail. Working remotely requires extra attention to all parts of the greenhouse project. We also faced logistic challenges, but despite everything we managed to get everything to the different locations on time.”

In the Netherlands alone,138 million euros worth of fruit and vegetables were exported to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2019. According to experts, global food production will have to double by 2050. Therefore, food safety is high on the KSA agenda, all the more so because local production is severely limited by a chronic freshwater shortage.

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