A Dutch-American consortium was formed in June 2020. Seventeen (greenhouse horticulture) parties from both countries joined a project, initiated by NLWorks. It aims to expand horticulture in the American state of Kentucky.
The American cultivation company, AppHarvest, is doing its bit, already having greenhouses built. CEO Jonathan Webb spoke to Inge Wijzenbroek of NLWorks. That was on the Dutch agricultural attaché network, Agroberichten Buitenland. Jonathan explained that there are enormous opportunities for Dutch greenhouse farming in the US.
"Dutch greenhouse horticulture technology is so advanced," he says enthusiastically. "When you arrive in Westland from Kentucky, you would think you've landed on Mars!"
A 2020 photo of some of the consortium members.
Jonathan wants to develop US greenhouse horticulture to the latest standards. The Westland and universities in the Netherlands have the technology needed for that. An entire ecosystem must be built up and maintained. That includes, for example, education and logistics.
AppHarvest already works with a few Dutch partners. They would like to see more of that, however. "Sharing knowledge, learning from each other - in the end, that makes our work easier. We need around 30 companies working together. A bigger sector also attracts more investors. The ball has to get rolling."
So, there are opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs. "America is the biggest market in the world. If this sector gets going, we're talking about billions to tens of billions. That's the capital that will be invested in this. The U.S. handles this kind of business big and fast," Jonathan concludes.
Source: Agroberichten Buitenland