Australia: Sundrop Farms grows tomatoes in desert

Food prices have gone up considerably in the last few months, mainly due to failed crops and a shortage of corn and soya. Expectations are that this development will lead to a global food crisis – something Philipp Saumweber is trying his best to avoid. He has developed a revolutionary system able to grow food in the desert.

To accomplish the feat, Saumweber has settled in the Australian desert three hours north of Adelaide. On a purchased lot he erected a futuristic greenhouse, allowing him to make something out of nothing. He now uses the sun to distil salt from seawater and using this water to irrigate, heat and cool the greenhouse, a process enabling him to cultivate large amounts of crop. Without the aid of pesticides Saumweber has succeeded in producing tons of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. The ensuing company, called Sundrop Farms, has already seen international expansion.

Thanks to his success, investors and retailers are lining up to do business with Sundrop. A new greenhouse, 40 times larger, is already in the pipeline. The new design can produce 2.8 million kilos of tomatoes and 1.2 million kilos of peppers, which are then sold through supermarkets.

Experts agree the possibilities are endless. Dutch water engineer Reinier Wolterbeek, currently employed by Sundrup, says: “The sky is the limit. We are all young and ambitious and have shown gardeners, economists and supermarkets that what we do works. We are now able to grow the necessary proteins to ward off a global food crisis.”


Source:, Guardian,

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