18 July 2018
POELDIJK, The Netherlands: Last Monday, the Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Food Security, Her Excellency Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, paid a visit to Certhon and the Certhon Innovation Centre. The Minister and her delegation discussed the sustainable techniques that Dutch horticulture can offer as a solution to the challenges in the Gulf region. Discussions were held on topics such as water reduction, sustainable energy solutions, food safety and the assurance of annual production of healthy, clean and locally produced food.
The Dutch horticulture, Certhon, offers techniques to face these challenges. Important is mutual cooperation, knowledge transfer and support to reinforce these developments. To underline this, a visit was made to the Certhon Innovation Centre, where the Minister could see the technology of the future with her own eyes and could taste the quality of the product. The visit ended with a tour at Koppert Cress. The energy-efficient climate system developed by Certhon with JSK cooling combined with the heat-cold storage which is used here, fits perfectly as an energy-neutral solution where the Gulf region is looking for.
Also during the visit, reference was also made to the project Certhon is now building in Nahel in the United Arab Emirates: PureHarvest. PureHarvest opted for the SuprimAir concept, where the use of conditioned air and over-pressure means that there is always a perfect climate to grow a healthy and clean product all year round. Through the application of over-pressure, computer-controlled efficient ventilation and cooling and the non-use of pesticides, healthy, local food can be produced in a sustainable way. With the aid of a hydroponic drip-irrigation, with complete re-use of irrigation water, water use is limited to the minimum.
The Minister was impressed by the available techniques that were shown. To speak with her own words: “How a tiny country like Holland (being half the size of the UAE) uses technology to not only feed itself but also the world (literally!)”.