Dutch Automated Pilot Greenhouse Project in North Africa

Bosman Van Zaal and Hoogendoorn Growth Management are working together for years in East African countries like Kenya and Ethiopia. But time seems favourable to expand sharing their knowledge elsewhere and to lift crop quality and yield in general to a higher level. The partnership has expanded with projects in South Africa, Rwanda and more recently to Egypt.
Bosman Van Zaal had the chance to receive visitors from Egypt during the exhibition of Fruit Logistica 2016 in Berlin. This Egyptian team was on a survey and orientation mission about possible candidates for design and supply of a complete greenhouse project.
From that moment, Bosman Van Zaal was in contact and negotiation with the Egyptian party about different technical requirements for a greenhouse based on crop requirements and climate data analysis. The persistence and continuous efforts of the Bosman Van Zaal organization brought a positive result which was signing a contract for a Dutch pilot greenhouse project in Egypt.
The greenhouse area is about 1.5 ha consisting of glasshouse and plastic house with a technical service area in between. The design is based on growing tomato and sweet pepper. Besides the greenhouse structure the project includes all systems such as ventilation, screens, heating, cooling, irrigation, cultivation systems (hanging gutters and mobile benches), electrical and control systems in addition to necessary equipment for handling the crop such as seeding machine, hydraulic scissor lift trolleys, plant protection equipment, harvest trolley, cold storage etc.
Partner Hoogendoorn Growth Management will install the iSii process computer with the most up-to-date software, including advanced controls. This automation solution will empower the customer to easily control the greenhouse climate, irrigation, energy and nutrients at any location in his own language. With a secured access via a computer, laptop, tablet of smart phone, the customer can manage the greenhouse at his own convenience.
Moreover, part of the plastic greenhouse is covered with F-CLEAN® (EFTE covering) so the customer can also compare growth of crops under different covering materials, glass, plastic and EFTE.
Since signing the contract middle of June 2016, the teams of engineering and export projects at Bosman Van Zaal are engaged in technical designs and manufacturing of all required parts and systems in order to start the project. As we speak the company is constructing on site.
Egypt has very ambitious plans not only for greenhouse sector but also to strengthen the whole agricultural sector in general. Therefore, a presidential delegation from Egypt led Egyptian Minister of Agriculture Mr. Essam Fayed visited the Netherlands recently. The delegation was guided by the Agricultural Counsellor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in CairoMr. Joost Geijer and Mr. Joep Hendricks from Gygga B.V.
Of course,all partners involved are very curious about the results of this project, which undoubtedly will set a new standard for North-Africa. The companies will watch closely whether this new development could also mean a new direction for countries in other parts of Africa like Kenya. Especially plastic greenhouses with a new level of technology should bring to many of us more crop information and experience. BVZ and Hoogendoorn are definitely orientating and investing – besides African flower horticulture – in African vegetable production.

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