The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC); the developer behind the world's most ambitious regenerative tourism project, partnered with Red Sea Farms; a Saudi Arabian AgTech business, to develop a sustainable food supply for The Red Sea's flagship destination; using sunlight and saltwater.
Red Sea Farms will build and operate the indoor farm; growing crops to sustainably feed guests and residents at The Red Sea Project. It will become the main supplier to the luxury destination's resorts and restaurants.
CEO of TRSDC John Pagano also said; "At TRSDC we believe in embracing innovations to solve the challenges we face as we attempt to improve our relationship with the environment. Red Sea Farms' technology is novel, exciting and it also has the possibility of helping to tackle food scarcity globally."
"This partnership also means we're meeting our own sustainable and regenerative ambitions," he added.
The innovative technology uses sunlight and saltwater to cool greenhouses and grow crops, instead of relying on rainfall, fresh groundwater, or desalinated water.
This saves up to 300 liters of freshwater per kilogram of produce – a 95 percent saving compared with other AgTech systems.
The technology has been designed and developed in Saudi Arabia for use in often challenging environmental conditions.
This also means a reduced impact on the environment and a significant cost saving for growers. It also results in more nutritious crops, while also providing a richer taste, flavor, and texture.
By 2023, The Red Sea Project will welcome 300,000 guests annually and upwards of 14,000 employees, and once fully operational in 2030, up to one million guests per year and home to around 35,000 employees.
Feeding this many people in a remote, largely desert environment presents huge logistical challenges.
TRSDC has set aside a 50 square hectare food development area and is inviting leading companies from around the world to set up production facilities, as well as pilots of cutting-edge food technologies that can someday be used on a commercial scale.
The Red Sea Farms indoor farm will produce a diverse range of fresh leafy greens; herbs; vine crops; fruit including berries, and vegetables. Following the pilot; Red Sea Farms will have the option of expanding the farm to up to 100 hectares in the future; which would make it the largest sustainable farm of its kind in the world.
TRSDC also partnered with Blue Planet Ecosystems in a regional first to deliver sustainably produced seafood.
The first phase of the project will be as a 3,500m2 pilot; to assess whether conditions at The Red Sea Project are suitable for the solution to work effectively and efficiently.
This will also be the first Land-based Automated Recirculating Aquaculture (LARA) system pilot in the Middle East to undergo a commercial trial.