It is with great sadness that we learn about Pieter Hoff’s passing; husband, father, grandfather, leader, inventor and dreamer, he died on April 13, 2021 at the age of 67.
Pieter grew up in West-Friesland (the Netherlands) as the eldest son of a horticulturist and took over his father’s company with his brothers. They specialized in the breeding and cultivation of lilies and built a very large lily breeding company called “Hoff Quality First”. Pieter travelled to more than fifty countries for business, where he witnessed (and started to worry about) falling groundwater tables.
This inspired him to sell his lily business, and from 2003 start to develop a solution to reforest dry and degraded land. The ecological water-saving planting technology from Groasis (with the Waterboxx®, Growboxx® and Waterfilter Boxx® plant cocoons as central products) was his answer. The results of the projects carried out in 43 countries prove that Pieter has created the tools to make his dream come true: he wanted to be able to reforest two billion hectares of dry and eroded soil, land that was once fertile and covered by trees.
We started using the Growboxx back in 2015 to plant our Ghaf trees in remote areas where access to water and irrigation were not possible. The results were incredible: with very limited amount of water the trees still grew tall and healthy while establishing a strong root system.
Below are a few pictures from a planting in Sharjah back in April 2016: together with Chalhoub Group we planted 50 Ghaf trees using the Growboxx and in March 2019 the trees were beautiful and tall with thick trunks, so much that we couldn’t remove the box anymore! And this was possible with 80/90% water savings!
Pieter had a great dream that transcends a single human life. He knew that. It is hard to accept that he will not see the results of his immeasurable efforts; for Groasis’ technology to be used at a massive scale.
Pieter’s inventions won many international awards, including the Popular Science “Best Innovation” (2010) and more recently the title of “National Icon” (2016) by the Dutch government. In addition to writing many blogs and columns, Pieter published two books: “CO2, a gift from heaven” (2008) and “The Treesolution” (2012).
In March 2015, Groasis won the ‘’Best New Product for Gulf Market – Agriculture’’ award of AgraMe: “with the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology you can green the desert with 99% less water use“.
In 2019, Pieter received the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation in Abu Dhabi, winning the “Pioneering and Sophisticated Innovations serving the Agricultural Sector” award, while in 2020 the Groasis Waterfilter Boxx® won the Boskalis Water Award at the NBC 2020 Awards in honour of the Expo2020 Dubai.
If you wish to support the team at Groasis, we’d be happy to introduce you to their wide range of fantastic products and their experience gained of planting trees around the world. Together we can continue Pieters’ efforts to realise the Treesolution.
The video below is in honour of Pieter (in Dutch only for now, but the images convey the message).
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