Smart Agriculture and Agri-tech Solutions in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been actively involved in promoting smart agriculture and encouraging Agri-Tech solutions. Also, the government is looking to sustain and modernize agriculture. Hence, they have been investing heavily in these environmental-friendly solutions. 

Agri-tech Solutions in Saudi Arabia

Hydroponics

Hydroponics, a type of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and hydroculture that focuses on replacing soil with mineral nutrient solutions dissolved in water. This method presents a sustainable solution for regions like Saudi Arabia, where harsh climates pose significant obstacles to traditional farming practices.

This agri-tech solution optimizes space usage, minimizes transportation-related waste and expenses, and, when implemented effectively, shields against agricultural losses due to pests and diseases. Moreover, through advanced nutrition technologies inherent in hydroponics, the growth cycle can potentially be halved, resulting in expedited and healthier crop yields.

Aquaponics

Aquaponics farming is another agri-tech solution that Saudi Arabia farmers enjoy. In aquaponic farming, a substantial tank accommodates a dense population of fish, with water filtration facilitated by a gravity-fed method to eliminate large particulate matter like dirt as the fish mature. The filtered water is then circulated through elongated channels where aquatic plants thrive. Upon reaching the channel’s end, a small pump redirects the water back to the fish tank. Throughout this cycle, the waste generated by the fish serves as nutrients for the plants, while the plants purify the water of contaminants such as total ammonia nitrogen (TAN). Through the filtration process of aquaponic farming, the discharged water emerges clear of fish-related toxins, contributing to environmental sustainability.

This system boasts of eight times potential yields of vegetables and fish production. Aquaponic farming conserves the majority of its water usage, with minimal refilling required due to minimal evaporation losses. Additionally, as the water flow is predominantly gravity-mediated, aquaponic systems operate with significantly lower energy consumption. Moreover, compared to conventional hydroponic setups, the plants in aquaponics derive nourishment directly from the fish, resulting in cost savings. This form of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) presents substantial opportunities for farmers interested in cultivating duckweed (a feed source for fish, cows, sheep, and camels) and barley, thereby reducing dependence on imported crops.

Greenhouses

Greenhouses are strategically designed to maximize natural light utilization for efficient crop cultivation. They are expansive structures crafted from glass or polycarbonate materials

Through the implementation of pad-and-fan-cooling systems, greenhouse farming in Saudi Arabia holds significant promise for sustainable crop production by effectively managing variables such as temperature and humidity. With the integration of automated irrigation systems and the deployment of cooling mechanisms to mitigate temperature fluctuations, advanced greenhouses empower farmers to cultivate a diverse range of crops, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and bedding plants.

Solar Energy

Solar energy is another agri-tech solution farmers in Saudi Arabia are embracing. Farmers can use this alternative power supply for enhancing water efficiency for farming and food production. Solar energy promotes a reduced reliance on agricultural operations on traditional energy sources and mitigate water scarcity challenges. The utilization of solar energy in farming endeavors holds promise for supplying clean water across various agricultural domains, including hydroponic greenhouses, traditional rural irrigation systems, and urban farms. 

Final Words

Saudi Arabia is creating an environment for farmers to embrace agrit-tech solutions that make agricultural operations easy to handle. Some of the solutions we looked at include solar energy, greenhouses, hydroponics,  aquaponics, etc.

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