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Desert Control makes degraded soil arable again

Published 24 Mar 2023 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 2 min read

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At a glance

  • Patented clay-and-water compound for farming
  • Turns sandy soil into arable land
  • Reduces desertification, saves water, increases food security

Desert Control’s solution turns clay into a liquid that transforms desert sand into fertile soil, boosting agricultural production and increasing food security.

Desertification and soil degradation are among the greatest threats to life on Earth. Twelve million hectares of fertile land are lost to droughts and desertification annually, and 1.8 billion people will suffer water scarcity by 2025.

This is happening while the growing global population will need more food over the next 40 years than the planet has produced in the last 500 years.

Turning desert into fertile land

Desert Control is a climate tech company that specialises in transforming arid soil and desert sand into fertile land. Its patented Liquid NanoClay (LNC) is mixed on site from water, clay and local soil, without any chemical additives.

The compound enables sandy soils to retain water and nutrients, making degraded soil arable again. LNC increases crop yield, while decreasing water use by up to 50 per cent. Cultivating sandy soil into fertile land normally takes 10 to 15 years, but when LNC is applied, the soil is ready for planting in just seven hours. One application of LNC will last about five years.

Before and after image of crop field

Concrete benefits

Independent validation by the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) has documented that LNC increased yields and reduced irrigation water use by up to 47 per cent in open field cultivation in marginal desert areas.

LNC can also play a crucial role in sustainable land management. The compound restores and protects land from soil degradation by promoting overall soil health and biodiversity. It also increases resilience to the harsh impacts of climate change.

LNC reduces the need for fertilisers, nitrogen and other chemicals as well. A layer of LNC will prevent contaminants from percolating through the soil and into the water table, reducing agricultural runoff.

Moreover, treating soil with LNC can help to reclaim desert, thereby increasing carbon sequestration.

Market potential

Given that one third of the world’s soil is already degraded, there are many promising markets that could benefit from LNC. These include local farmers and global food producers, agricultural landowners, and urban landscape, reforestation and climate impact initiatives.

A successful independent external validation was conducted of LNC. Commercial projects are being launched in the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the MENA region. In addition, feasibility studies on transferability to the West Coast of the US will start in early 2021.

Ole Kristian Sivertsen


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