Neom is Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s $500 billion project aimed at building a high-tech city in the temperate northwest region of the country’s Tabuk province. Food security is among the priorities for the planners of the smart city.
According to Neom’s website, the city aims to “redefine the ways we produce, distribute and consume food”.
In a step towards this goal, Saudi Arabia is now coming up with a horticulture oasis in an area the size of 15 soccer fields. It is the biggest food-tech investment for Saudi Arabia who relies on food imports due to its arid land and extreme summer temperatures, according to the Bloomberg report.
As part of Van Der Hoeven $120 million contract with the Saudi government, the company will build design and construct two test facilities on the outskirts of Neom. Van Der Hoeven will also provide service and operation of the facilities over multiple years.
For Neom, Saudi Arabia plans to use the desert as a testbed and provide more efficient solutions “to food production in water-scarce environments, developing scalable models for the rest of the world as climate change accelerates and arable land retreats”.
Some of Neom’s goals include becoming a “lighthouse for the world in shaping the future of food”, achieving more efficient and scalable food production solutions, supporting food security and self-reliance in Saudi Arabia, and empowering people to live healthier lifestyles.
According to the khaleejtimes