Hydroponic farming boosts prospects of sustainable agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, which covers 80 percent of the peninsula, will use sustainable agricultural techniques, such as hydroponics, to cut water waste by 50 percent by 2030. In recent years, the popularity of hydroponics has gained momentum, as existing farmers and people without any experience in traditional farming seek to take advantage of advances in technology and the potential benefits they can bring.

Last October the representative from Saudi Arabia, as part of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the 76th session at the UN General Assembly that the Kingdom was taking steps to build sustainable agriculture, improve consumption patterns to reduce waste by 50 percent by 2030, encourage innovation, and empower women and young people working in the agriculture sector.

In recent years, several agribusinesses in Saudi Arabia have started using hydroponics systems, after conducting intensive research, collecting data and devising suitable mechanisms, with the aim of keeping pace with the Kingdom’s soaring population and food requirements. “We send our water samples on a weekly basis to labs in Holland and the analysis report provides us with the water properties absorbed by the plants,” he told.

Alduhayan said he has learned what works through trial and error, having had to make decisions and comparisons, ranging from the type of soil to use in greenhouses to testing a plant’s endurance and its ability to survive in a hydroponics farm. He said he once tested a particular variety of tomato plant that yielded fruit for up to nine months and grew to a height of 14 meters. Based on his experiences, Alduhayan said that hydroponic systems are an attractive option for many farmers in Saudi Arabia for a number of reasons.

Read the complete article at www.arabnews.com.


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