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Dutch Water Technology & Horticulture sectors combine forces in the Gulf Region

The arid climate of the Gulf region poses multiple challenges to its ambitious food self-sufficiency plans. To increase its local production, the region must find sustainable solutions for its water scarcity and a lack of arable land amongst others. More food needs to be produced for a growing population, while putting less pressure on the region's scarce natural resources. In order to reduce this impact, it is important to approach the water and food sectors holistically.

With ongoing global challenges, the strive for food and water security is more needed than ever. Combining forces between sectors, but also between our countries, is necessary. In that light, a trade delegation of Dutch companies from the water and horticultural sector visited both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for a week-long trade mission to explore the opportunities in the Gulf Region.

The group consisted of companies with various fields of expertise, such as greenhouse building, automation, water treatment, sustainable growing solutions, etc. Furthermore, the delegation collectively offers sustainable solutions for emerging issues related to food and water security, such as brine, water salinity and -shortage, and increasingly saline soils.

Synergy emerges in the Gulf
Commissioned by The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), and facilitated by, the trade mission had a full program of meetings with governmental, research and private sector entities. Besides interactive meetings, there were opportunities to network, and the delegation had several site visits to get a feel for the current developments in the region. The delegation attended an interactive session on the topic of corporate social responsibility, which shed light on the risk and responsibilities associated with doing business abroad.

Due to the dry climate, every drop of water counts and should be used to create the most value and to achieve the ambitious targets set in e.g. UAE's Food Security Strategy and Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 when it comes to food and water security. This is where the Dutch horticultural sector comes into play, which emphasizes maximizing the output of used water and offers closed system solutions—enabling round the clock production. Besides that, the Netherlands pioneers in water management.

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