A smart farm is an automated indoor farm created by combining information and communication technology (ICT) with agriculture. Because smart farms can automatically analyze the temperature, humidity and amount of sunlight using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, farmers can grow plants without having to worry about weather conditions. To overcome weather conditions such as extremely high temperatures and humidity in summer, Saudi Arabia created a $500 million fund to nurture its agricultural sector in 2020.
Kolon Global teamed up with Ollefarm, a smart farm company in South Korea, and Faidh International Food Company, a Saudi Arabian company specializing in trading food, to create the smart farm infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. While Kolon Global will conduct market analysis and feasibility study, Ollefarm will provide its smart farm technology and know-how on growing, cultivating and distributing South Korean strawberry seeds in Saudi Arabia. Faidh will help Kolon Global in various areas including securing sites, funding and licensing.
The Rural Development Administration, a state agricultural research institution in South Korea, is targeting the Middle East market with cooling house-type smart farms that can protect crops from extreme heat. In 2019, South Korea and the UAE agreed to jointly research rice cultivation techniques in the desert and smart greenhouse cooling systems.
Saudi Arabia is currently trying to diversify its economy and nurture its public service sectors including health, education and tourism rather than relying on the oil business through a state project called "Saudi Vision 2030."
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