Posted on

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

Sustainable vegetable production in Saudi Arabian desert under 80 hectares of glass
Photos:  Debets Schalke

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. 

 

Posted on

Glasshouse blackberries deliver pleasing results for Driscoll’s

Berry company Driscoll’s says taking its successful variety Driscoll’s® Victoria™ to the glasshouse has produced blackberries with exceptional taste and outstanding fruit size.

Berry company Driscoll’s says taking its successful variety Driscoll’s® Victoria™ to the glasshouse has produced blackberries that have kicked off the Dutch season with exceptional taste and outstanding fruit size.

Driscoll’s agronomy consultant Fanny Pitsioudis said the variety is the result of a unique breeding programme focused on taste, look and shelf life.

“What we discovered is that this blackberry variety performs even better in the protected environment of a glasshouse, as the berries are bigger, sweeter and juicier than before,” she said.

Driscoll’s growers Jan and Alfons Diepstraten, of the growers association Best of Four, are reaping the benefits of the glass house success and gave a hat tip to Driscoll’s for its “high quality varieties and advanced production methods.”

“Last year we already experienced how huge and sweet these blackberries are, that is why we decided to expand our production from 2 hectare to 5 hectare,” they said, adding they will be picking blackberries until December

Driscoll's growers Jan & Alfons Diepstraten.JPGDriscoll’s growers Jan and Alfons Diepstraten of growers association Best of Four

source: Driscoll’s press release