Innovation transforms the Desert into Farmland

innovation transforms desert into farmland

The world is running with new innovation and gadgets. Innovation has given a new perspective on agriculture and food. As a result, the world is in making green desert fields. The goal of the Sahara Forest Project (SPF), is to give fresh food, freshwater, and renewable energy in hot areas. Joakim Hauge is the president of this foundation.
An investor group in Qatar started the Sahara Forest Project in 2009. The goal is to build small-scale opportunities because it would help farmers to grow food and drinking water in uninhabitable environments.
The pilot facility for the project is in Qatar, chosen for its location and access to funding. The source of water for the project is a seawater pipeline pumped from the Persian Gulf. This project has three main constituents.
  • firstly, Saltwater cooled greenhouses
  • secondly, solar power for electricity and heat generation, and
  • most importantly, technology for desert vegetation.

How does this innovation turn desert into farmland?

We are going to learn how this innovation will turn desert into farmland? The saltwater cooled greenhouses work similarly to a traditional greenhouse. The first thing to remember is here the wind evaporates the pumped seawater instead of a fan. The seawater cools down the greenhouse and warms it. Concentrated solar power (CSP) harvests the desert sunlight for electricity and heat production.
Solar panels contain small mirrors as a result they produce heat. As soon as heat is produced it generates electricity indirectly through steam turbine controlled generators. The plants take the help of evaporative shrubs to develop in drought-prone environments.
These shrubs allow vegetation growth by sheltering and giving them a cold climate.  The SPF can generate up to 130,000kg of vegetables per year, and 10,000 liters of fresh water per day. In addition to this, It also has a space of 3,200m2  for outdoor planting in uninhabitable areas. 
The project aims to solve farming problems in an efficient and cost-friendly manner. As a result, it developed a technical framework with nature as inspiration. In other words, one technology uses the waste product as a tool for another. This forwarding thinking makes this project both ambitious and unique.
desert vegetation innovation

Future of farming technology

The idea took place in 2009 at the United Nations Climate Summit (COP 15 in Copenhagen). The SFP teamed up with leading fertilizer companies, Yara and Qafco. As a result, they build the first desert irrigation system. The Sahara Forest Project attended COP 18 in Doha. During that time they proposed the completely operational Qatar Pilot Facility and told its benefits.

 Through functional testing, the facility showed astounding results. Therefore, the Qatar facility became completely operational in December 2012. As a result, they are building another facility in Jordan. While growth in Jordan is slower, Qatar’s agriculture is flourishing fast. The first cucumber harvest was at the end of November 2012 and the barley harvest at the end of April 2013.
Using this innovative technology in desert revegetation and delivering saltwater creates good surroundings for industries. It expands their businesses—resources, includes salt extraction, algae production, PVs, and Bioenergy.
The project aims in using this innovation and transforming deserts into a farming community. It aims to have the land leased by local farmers, particularly through microfinance. And with this, they can set up small businesses. In conclusion, this project would be a massive revolution in agriculture. 

More information about the Sahara Forest Project:

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