Home » Companies » NEOM And Dutch Greenhouse Giant Van Der Hoeven Partner To Build the World’s Most Food-Sustainable City
NEOM And Dutch Greenhouse Giant Van Der Hoeven Partner To Build the World’s Most Food-Sustainable City
NEOM And Dutch Greenhouse Giant Van Der Hoeven Partner To Build the World_s Most Food-Sustainable City

NEOM is teaming up with Dutch Greenhouse company Van Der Hoeven to help make the desert bloom with the aim of building the world’s most food-self-sufficient city. This $120 million project at Neom involves vertical farming, artificial intelligence, and seawater cooling systems with the aim of producing 300,000 tons of food in the next decade.

The No.1 Business Site in Saudi Arabia

Get The Latest Developments in The Growth of Saudi Arabia Straight to Your Inbox and Stay Ahead of The Curve

Making the Impossible Possible

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, renowned for its desert landscapes, is embarking on an audacious journey to create an agricultural haven. NEOM, a city of the future under development on the Red Sea coast, is at the heart of this $120 million venture. 

The city’s planners envision NEOM blossoming into a self-sustaining, environment-friendly oasis that will be home to millions.

Partnership with Van Der Hoeven

Image Credit Van Der Hoeven

NEOM has enlisted the expertise of Van Der Hoeven, a pioneer in sustainable horticultural solutions. The Dutch company is renowned for its ability to design, develop, and operate efficient and sustainable greenhouses.

The partnership involves constructing two test facilities, totaling 110,000 square meters, on the outskirts of NEOM. This urban farming approach aims to establish a controlled climate for efficient and sustainable food production.

A Visionary Approach to Agriculture

This bold initiative will utilize cutting-edge technologies including vertical farming, artificial intelligence, advanced water filtration, and solar and seawater-driven cooling systems. This synthetic climate will enable the cultivation of crops in a region that traditionally cannot sustain much life. The goal is to yield over 300,000 tons of produce in the next eight to ten years.

The Importance of Greenhouse Farming

Image Credit Van Der Hoeven

As our planet warms, ecosystems are changing and their ability to grow certain kinds of food is diminishing. Many plants that produce fruit, vegetables, and grains can only survive in a narrow window of average temperatures. As temperatures rise, hotter regions may become unable to grow staple crops, necessitating alternative methods like greenhouses.

The use of greenhouses is not a novel concept. In the United States alone, greenhouse vegetable production generated $3 billion in 2021. The climate-controlled environment allows for the year-round cultivation of a variety of crops, including tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, lettuce, and herbs.

The NEOM Greenhouse Project

The NEOM project involves creating a synthetic oasis, approximately the size of 15 soccer fields. This oasis will be home to a variety of crops grown in an environment that ordinarily cannot sustain much life.

Currently, Saudi Arabia imports about 80% of its food. However, with the development of this project, the Kingdom aims to become more self-reliant. The greenhouse facilities will greatly contribute to achieving this goal of self-sufficiency.

One of the major challenges in desert farming is water scarcity. The NEOM project plans to overcome this hurdle through innovative methods such as seawater desalination and advanced water filtration systems.

AI-driven crop growing and harvesting will play a significant role in this initiative. It will help optimize crop yields, reduce waste, and improve sustainability.

Future Expansion Plans

Image Credit Van Der Hoeven

The project is expected to commence its first site in August 2024. Over time, the plan is to “scale up to hundreds of hectares with different types of greenhouses,” according to Juan Carlos Motamayor, CEO of Neom Food.

NEOM’s ambitious venture is more than just a testament to mankind’s ability to adapt and innovate. It represents a proactive response to climate change, a step towards a more sustainable future, and a model for other regions facing similar challenges.

Become smarter in just 5 minutes

Get the latest developments on The Saudi Boom straight to your inbox and stay ahead of the curve for free