Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Dutch Technology to Help KSA Reduce Water Consumption | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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There are about 100 million date palms in the world, of which 10 percent are in Saudi Arabia, which contributes 14 percent of the world production of dates. (File photo: Reuters)

Riyadh – A Dutch official revealed that Netherlands is willing to share with Saudi Arabia its technology on water conservation, reduction of agricultural products exportation, using greenhouses, and working on maintaining a reserve in Saudi Arabia in what serves the Saudi Vision 2030.

The Agricultural Counselor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Saudi Arabia Hans van der Beek said that there is an important cooperation between both countries in agriculture in accordance with the Vision 2030.

Van der Beek told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the Dutch techniques will help reduce 30% of the agricultural water used in date farming. He added that his country is willing to provide these techniques to help Saudi Arabia reduce water consumption as in Vision 2030.

He explained that Saudi market is looking forward for a company specialized in palm tree mites that will help monitor the trees before the mite attacks them. He added that the company owns advanced technologies that will monitor the usage of satellites and a high-precision system.

The counselor said that mites are a serious problem and should not be taken lightly, stressing that the use of bio-pesticides is best for the environment.

He explained that the technology involves an integration of steps such as determination of underground water reserves by sensor techniques, and monitoring systems, whether the crop to be planted needs irrigation or not.

Van der Beek said that Dutch greenhouses in Saudi Arabia are equipped with techniques that reduce water consumption by up to 95%. He gave an example the project in King Saud University.

He said that the Netherlands could also share knowledge on efficient use of water through greenhouse concepts for indoor vegetables and fruits, adding that “this not only includes putting up a greenhouse but it’s also a concept around a greenhouse.”

“This involves climate control, cooling systems and growing technique or the medium used for a plant or crop to grow, e.g. substrates like water or rock wall slabs,” he said.

He said this is called a recirculation aquaculture system, adding that “we’re thinking of other concepts on efficient use of water which we could share with the Kingdom as part of our close collaboration in agriculture.”

The counselor stated that a number of Dutch businessmen will visit Saudi Arabia in October to participate in the Saudi Agricultural Fair. He added that about 40 Dutch agricultural companies will partake in the exposition and will present several techniques that could solve many of the problems farmers face during their work.