Pegasus plans hydroponic farm in Saudi
Dubai, April 24, 2014
Pegasus Agri-tech, Mena region's largest commercial operator of hydroponic farming facilities, has announced plans to build the first commercial hydroponic farm in Saudi Arabia.
It will build a 20,000 sq m hydroponic farming facility in the kingdom that will produce 1,000 times more produce through vertical farming technique, outputting 1,400 tonnes of more produce per hectare per annum than normal farming, a statement said.
Karen Alcantara of Pegasus Agritech said: "There is a rapid growth in global food market and it is time that nations became self-sufficient in its agriculture production. In Saudi Arabia, arable land is very limited, therefore, it is highly challenging for it to produce adequate food. Saudi Arabia imports 95 per cent of its fresh fruits and vegetables for which the nation is paying massive premiums, as a consequence burdening its economy. For the regions where natural resources are a question in supporting agricultural growth, commercialization of hydroponic farming is the viable answer."
Pegasus Agri-tech is already finalising negotiations on the land where it plans to produce lettuce, tomatoes, basil, thyme and rocket. In addition to state-of-the-art hydroponic farming facility, the company is committed to bring the produce to its consumers through a solid supply chain, which is still lacking in the country. This will also enable timely distribution of fresh produce ensuring best price for its investors.
Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without the use of soil. It is also known as soilless culture. The term hydroponics comes from two Greek terms; hydros means water and ponos means work.
In traditional agriculture where plants are grown in soil, nutrients and water exist randomly, and often plants expend a great deal of energy in growing roots and searching for water and nutrients. By expending this energy, plants do not grow as fast as they could. However, because the nutrients are delivered directly to the roots in a hydroponic system, a plant doesn’t have to use any excess energy growing long roots in search of water and nutrients. This enables plants to grow much faster and results in more frequent harvests. In addition, growing plants in hydroponics requires less water, less space, and pests and diseases are more easily controlled and prevented, the company says in its website.
"The hydroponic technique is highly sustainable; a onetime infrastructure investment can bring 100 years of returns. The growth of high yield crops means, returns on investments are made quickly. And with 80 per cent less water usage and efficient utilization of land, we can confidently assure that hydroponic farming is a win win situation for all," added Alcantara.
The farms of Pegasus Agri-tech produce high quality crops through its modern hydroponic and water saving techniques, along with European technology and management systems. A further network of 300 acres of hydroponic greenhouses is also planned in Mena region, thus becoming the biggest hydroponic farming operator in the region, Alcantara said. - TradeArabia News Service