Webinars help Middle East growers with sustainable production

Published on
January 27, 2021

Many governments in the Middle East want to increase their self-sufficiency by increasing their food production. A way to reach this goal is through demonstration and training . The Greenhouse Horticulture Business Unit of Wageningen University & Research is closely involved in such initiatives in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Due to the corona crisis, guidance is now done online, such as with webinars for growers.

WUR has been active in the Arab region for about 14 years. For example, in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) it is being investigated whether it is possible to grow enough vegetables with less water and pesticides. Knowledge from that research must reach growers. Demonstration examples are being set up for this purpose. Due to the corona crisis, the guidance of the first demonstration examples took place digitally and remotely. This also applied to the transfer of knowledge: this was done through a series of webinars.

In 2021, WUR will also provide online training courses for growers from the United Arab Emirates. This is done for a large farmers' cooperative, which includes more than 800 companies (both with greenhouses and in the open ground). The cooperative wants to assist its members increase production and reduce costs. Sustainable production is the focus point.

For example, from 2021 WUR will provide monthly webinars about irrigation, fertilizers and cultivation systems (such as the high-wire cultivation of cucumbers). Each webinar consists of a presentation of approximately half an hour followed by an opportunity to ask questions. The language of instruction is Arabic, so that as many growers as possible can acquire the knowledge​.