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Saudi startup Red Sea Farms secures $10 million investment for sustainable agriculture

Red Sea Farms, a Saudi Arabian start-up that has developed a solution to use salt water for irrigation in agriculture, is proud to have received one of the largest investments in the sector: $10 million in venture capital! This is a great opportunity to assert its place in the territory and increase its growth for a greener economy. 

An investment to expand the business beyond Saudi borders 

Financed by a group of Saudi and Emirati investors, this sum is undoubtedly the best financing in the agritech sector, said the company Red Sea Farms based at the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST).

The sum will allow the Saudi startup to deploy up to eight agricultural sites in central and western Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi and expand to the United Arab Emirates by the end of the year.

A company serving the “organic” way 

For Ryan Lefers, CEO of Red Sea Farms, there is a strong demand for organic products in the Kingdom. 

That’s why the company has a second goal: to launch 15 snack products by the end of 2021, including peppers and cucumbers. But then, what is their technique? Red Sea Farms operates a pilot saltwater greenhouse at KAUST Research and Technology Park. Its tomatoes are grown in an environmentally controlled farm that uses primarily salt water to cool the greenhouses and irrigate the crops. The goal is to produce one ton of tomatoes in July, four in September and ten by the end of the year.

“We are proud to have designed, developed and delivered one of the most sustainable agricultural systems in the world from our base in Saudi Arabia” says the director. “The investment from our new partners will help us improve global food security while reducing the carbon footprint.” 

For its investors, Red Sea Farms is a good example of a game-changing startup whose innovations can not only transform markets but also improve the lives of everyone in the Kingdom

Towards an even bigger project from the Kingdom 

This kind of investment reflects the growing interest of Gulf investors in sustainable agriculture solutions that can combat pandemics and disruptions in the global supply chain. 

Food security has always been important to Gulf countries even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, and as early as 2018, the Kingdom unveiled its Organic Agriculture Action Plan and allocated SR 750 million ($200 million) to support it.

The plan’s goal is to increase organic production by 300%. Its other objectives are to provide safe food and sustainable, highly profitable agriculture, which will be an important resource for the national economy.