Last year, the first phase of the Tunisian greenhouse Hicha Joy was completed. The 10-hectare greenhouse built nearby the Tunisian coast has been producing tomatoes since September. Yet nowadays, trucks loaded with building materials still daily find their way to the project site. "We started constructing another 20-hectare facility", says Nikola Petcovic with Agrikol, the contracting company currently building the greenhouse. Whereas last year, the project dealt with protests from the region, now he sees more and more people from the area have joined to build the farm.
Hicha Joy is the second Tunisian facility of the Dutch greenhouse company Agro Care. Desert Joy, their first Tunisian project, took 5 years to complete and now supplies mainly the European Union with fairtrade grown tomatoes from a 20-hectare foil and a 20-hectare glass facility. Up next was the Hicha Joy project: located nearby the sea, it enables the company to grow tomatoes with desalinated water. In total, the Agro Care subsidiary La Joie de Hicha will consist of 4 greenhouses covered with glass. This is part of a bigger project compromising a total of 12 greenhouses and 118 hectares.
Greenhouse building company Flexibell Systems started the realization of the first phase of the project in 2021 and Hicha Joy contracted Agrikol to take up the construction. "We started in November, and the greenhouse was up and running by September," says Nikola. After only a short break, they could continue their work as the expansion of the project was commissioned. And at double speed: instead of 10 hectares, now 20 hectares are being built. "The plant date is set for September. However the complete project will be completely ready by July."
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