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RedSea to dig further into Egypt’s agricultural market

RedSea claim their heat-blocking roof technology can reduce energy usage and water use in irrigation RedSea/Media
RedSea claims its heat-blocking roof technology can reduce energy usage and water use in irrigation
  • Business provides agtech products
  • Focus on heat-blocking roofs
  • Saudi-Egypt trade worth $20bn

RedSea, an agtech business based in Saudi Arabia, is prioritising Egypt to transform the North African nation’s agricultural industry.

The company has also announced the appointment of Bruno De Oliveira as vice president of Egypt and East Africa as a result of increasing customer demand for its products.  

RedSea has already installed heat-blocking roofing materials on 30 hectares of a major government-owned site in Egypt. 

De Oliveira told AGBI that RedSea’s technologies, which have already been tested in Egypt, are “ready for rapid and wide deployment”, both in open field and controlled environment agriculture.

The company claims its Iyris SecondSky roof technology can reduce energy usage by more than 40 percent, water use in irrigation by 30 percent, and improve grower profitability by 28 percent.

De Oliveira, who is based in Cairo, said Egypt’s agricultural industry is projected to grow to more than $6 billion in sales by the end of the decade. The sector employs more than a quarter of the population and contributes almost 12 percent of GDP. 

“This represents an incredible opportunity for RedSea and Egypt’s farming sector alike,” he said.

RedSea’s products are deployed by growers in 12 countries. It also has several partnerships including with Red Sea Global of Saudi Arabia and UAE-based agrifood giant Silal.

Last month, it signed an agreement with Armando Alvarez, a private Spanish sustainable packaging manufacturer, for the supply of greenhouse covers in hot climate farming.

Garden, Nature, OutdoorsRedSea/Media
The company spread its reach into Spain recently when it agreed a deal with Armando Alvarez, a packaging business

Agriculture plays a major role in the Saudi-Egypt trade relationship, which exceeded $20 billion last year. 

Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce, told a Saudi-Egyptian Business Forum in Cairo last week that direct investment in Egypt by Saudi Arabia has reached $32 billion.

Last year the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, set up the Saudi Egyptian Investment Company as a vehicle to direct flows with a focus on sectors including agriculture.

And Egypt’s minister of agriculture and land reclamation, Elsayed Elkosayer, last week met a delegation of Saudi businessmen and investors to discuss ways to enhance and increase Saudi agricultural investment in Egypt, according to local media reports. 

Last month Baladna, the largest dairy food producer in Qatar, said it is exploring plans to invest up to $1.5 billion in a farming project in Egypt. The scheme would have 20,000 dairy cows, capable of producing 300 million litres of milk a year.

“There are already many thousands of hectares of farms with plastic roofs in the country,” De Oliveira said.

“We know that a simple one-for-one replacement of these roofs (when the time comes to replace them) with a SecondSky cover can save up to 90 percent of freshwater use in soil farming and deliver a more predictable, reliable crop. 

“The potential to improve the profitability and productivity of farming from this alone could be transformative for the Egyptian farming community.”

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