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Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Saudi Arabia signs agreement to convert biowaste into fertilizers

KSA inks agreement on biowaste recycling: Saudi Arabia’s state-owned National Agricultural Development Company (Nadec) signed an agreement with the Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC) to jointly recycle 400k tons of biowaste yearly with the goal of converting the refuse into organic fertilizers, according to a Tadawul filing. Public Investment Fund-owned firm SIRC had signed a partnership agreement last year with King Faisal University and the country’s Date Palm Center of Excellence for the co-development of agri waste repurposing mechanisms in the country, according to Arab News.

The fertilizers could be used to bolster sustainable food production: Nadec — which distributes its produce to over 40k stores across the GCC — entered a partnership agreement this month with UAE-based agritech startup Pure Harvest Farms to jointly cultivate some 27 hectares of its lands to become a vertical integrated business generating revenues totaling some USD 1.6 bn by 2027, according to a statement. The farmlands would be cultivated using Pure Harvest’s climate-controlled, renewables-powered hybrid food production tech.

And there’s plenty of biowaste to recycle: Saudi Arabia produces the world’s largest amount of food waste on a per capita basis with over a third of food produced or imported by the kingdom going to waste, according to a study (pdf) published by King Saud University. The waste per capita ratio for Saudis stands at 250 kg per annum compared to the global average of 115 kg and accumulates yearly losses amounting to some USD 11 bn, the study says.

The move may help work toward KSA’s Circular Carbon Economy National Program: The kingdom published targets to divert 82% of all landfill waste in October, earmarking USD 27-32 bn to recycle 42% and compost 35% of its waste by 2035. The Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) intends to invest USD 11 bn by 2035 to increase recycling, with the support of SIRC.

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