CleanGreens collaborated with their local partner Green Life to inaugurate an aeroponics system of 6000 m2 in Kuwait a few weeks ago as part of the country's government vision to increase food security. "Kuwait is mainly a desert country - it definitely doesn't look like your average France or the Netherlands," says Bernhard Baumgartner, Commercial Director of CleanGreens, adding that the biggest challenge in the region is during summer when temperatures can rise to over 50 degrees Celsius. "You need to provide a cultivation environment that doesn't only allow plants to thrive, but also and especially for people to work." Green Life implemented a triple shading system to block out the sun in the hottest seasons and partnered with Priva for climate control in the greenhouse.
Cutting down import
Bernhard points out that Kuwait is pursuing the "Kuwait 2035" plan, which aims to increase food quality and security in the region by setting up a full-fledged greenhouse industry. "There aren't many greenhouses here in Kuwait, and the road to 2035 is still long. I believe the country is on the right path to achieve its goal."
The CleanGreens aeroponic greenhouse is unique, as it uses less water than traditional hydroponic systems, with only 10 liters of water required per kg produced. This allows for better temperature control and balance in the system without causing problems at the root level, which is what would normally occur in a standard hydroponic setting in such a climate. "Our system is the answer for growing high-quality herbs and leafy greens in hot environments thanks to the highest control on the temperature of the root," says Bernhard. The greenhouse in Kuwait is set to produce 95 kg of leafy greens per square meter per year, making it a potential solution to the high prices and lack of quality in locally imported produce.
Despite the momentum of vertical farming in the region, Green Life opted for an aeroponic greenhouse due to its ease of operation and control of the climate in the root zone area. "This is because we have partnered with entrepreneurs with a long-term vision," explains Bernhard. "They made the market study and looked at all the different solutions: greenhouses and vertical farms... They concluded that it's just too financially intensive from a capex and opex standpoint to go for a vertical system."
For both partners, this project is to validate the technology in the region, CleanGreens, and Green Life are already exploring expansion opportunities in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other GCC countries, while CleanGreens continues its development in Europe with various projects being installed in 2023.
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