A closer look at promising horti regions

A closer look at promising horti regions

There are numerous horticultural regions worldwide that are in full development and therefore offer opportunities for technical suppliers and investors. For example, North Africa and the Gulf region. We spoke with two people about the opportunities and challenges in these areas.

Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects has been active in the Gulf region for decades. “We realize high-tech greenhouse horticulture projects there,” says Michiel Wisse. He is sales manager for Africa and the Gulf region within the Dutch company. “We handle projects from beginning until the end. From consultancy and advice to realization and assistance with the start-up of the technology and cultivation. In addition, our subsidiary Patron Agri Systems focuses on the construction of water technical and electrical installations for construction companies or end customers.”.

According to Wisse, high-tech greenhouse horticulture is on the rise in the Gulf region, but low-tech and mid-tech greenhouses still dominate the area. “There is growth in all these segments. This is partly because the corona pandemic and the situation in Ukraine have increased the importance of year-round food security; the Gulf States consider it important to be able to provide for their own food needs. Governments and investors are particularly committed to the realization of high-tech greenhouses since production in such an environment requires less water. Year-round availability of product can also be guaranteed.”

Need for knowledge
According to the sales manager, a lot of tomatoes are grown in the Gulf region, but other crops - including soft fruit - are on the rise. However, producing food in this area poses very specific challenges. “The warm and humid climate is the biggest challenge here. Reuse and efficient use of water are also crucial, as the Gulf States have a structural shortage of this.” Wisse notices that local entrepreneurs and parties in the Gulf have a great need for knowledge and solutions for the questions and challenges that arise locally. “Certainly, because the market here is still developing. This, in combination with the challenges that are characteristic of this region, means that the Gulf region offers plenty of opportunities, especially for suppliers and parties that can offer turnkey solutions.”

Investments in automated irrigation systems
Wisse also sees plenty of opportunities in North Africa. “The horticulture in this area mainly consists of low-tech and mid-tech greenhouses, high-tech horticulture is still in its infancy. Although it is gradually gaining a foothold.” Nevertheless, there is also a need for technical solutions in this region, especially in the field of water management and electricity supply. “There is also a structural shortage of water in North Africa. Cultivation is often done here with, for example, minimal control options in terms of climate and/or irrigation. Many companies are now investing in irrigation systems or climate computers, for example, to take their cultivation to a higher level. In short: there is a great need for knowledge and technical solutions to expand and optimize local food production.”

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Courtesy of Green Tech

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