Saudi agritech firm Red Sea Farms expands into water-scarce US states

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Saudi Arabia
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Red Sea Farms, Saudi Arabia-based agriculture technology company, has revealed its plans to expand into the US, with the University of Arizona the first institution in the country to trial its low energy and zero freshwater farming methods.

The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (UA-CEAC) will evaluate the technology and its resource-saving potential to produce crops in resource-limited environments.

Red Sea Farms has developed unique technologies, designed specifically for harsh environments, for example, arid climates such as those in the Gulf and in the dryer states in the US, using less energy and zero freshwater, which is typically used to cool greenhouses in hot climates.

Ryan Lefers
Ryan Lefers
CEO – Red Sea Farms

“Many parts of the US are water-scarce with seasonal harsh climates, making it a challenge to grow fresh produce year-round. However, the breakthrough technologies Red Sea Farms has created could help address the reliance on freshwater consumption in food production and improve food security. We are looking forward to working with the University of Arizona on this important subject.”

Red Sea Farms said that the international expansion to the US is being accelerated following investment from US investors AppHarvest and Bonaventure Capital. In 2021, the company also received funding from Wa’ed, Saudi Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm, the Future Investment Initiative Institute, Global Ventures and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology.

The initial study will integrate the Red Sea Farms environment technologies onto existing facilities at the University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center for a phase one-year-long project so benefits can be fully assessed before further deployment.

Red Sea Farms’ systems can be quickly and easily scaled in harsh environments, including the vast parts of the US that are water-scarce where conventional farming methods are either not possible or not cost-effective. The company is using its technology in-house to grow and sell high-quality fresh produce in Saudi Arabia and will sell its unique technologies to growers around the world.

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