Red Sea Farms has raised $1.9 million in its latest funding round. It is an agriculture technology spinout company from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) that specialises in saltwater greenhouse technology, and plans to boost innovative agriculture with its recently acquired capital.
Lead investors include the KAUST Innovation Fund and Research Products Development Co. (RPDC).
Red Sea Farms was established to address the growing food security needs of the MENA region. It has incorporated technology, engineering and plant science to combat issues of irrigation water scarcity and hot, arid lands, which are natural barriers to vegetation, and grow food with the intention of agricultural self-sufficiency for the region.
Food security has been at the heart of Mark Tester's research, co-founder of Red Sea Farms and KAUST professor of plant science. Red Sea Farms has developed solutions to grow crops that are tolerant to saltwater, and are kept in greenhouses which are cooled using the same saltwater. They substitute 80 to 90 percent of freshwater needs with saltwater, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of food production.
They aim to retrofit almost 5 percent of the greenhouses in the Kingdom, offering a return on investment for farmers in less than two years. Read more here.