DUBAI: A Dubai agritech startup is preparing a commercial rollout of its technology that can turn deserts into fertile land, state news agency WAM reported.
Desert Control, which has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has graduated from its program at Dubai’s in5 incubator, and is ready to introduce its liquid natural clay (LNC) to the market.
Its spray technology helps topsoil, sandy soil, and even desert sand to retain water and nutrients, helping to reverse soil degradation and regreen arid land.
“We are especially proud that the gardens adjacent to in5 were treated with LNC and the results were spectacular: 45 percent less irrigation water was needed to create a lush, healthy green lawn and landscape areas in comparison to traditional methods,” said Desert Control Managing Director Atle Idland.
The company is now in a scale-up phase where it needs to recruit employees and lease more space, following a successful initial public offering on Euronext Growth Oslo, where it raised around 85 million dirhams ($23.1 million).
The UAE’s national food security agenda could be accelerated by the technology, which could also be applied to other parts of the region, said Desert Control CEO Ole Kristian Sivertsen.
“Enormous amounts of water are required to maintain green landscapes and forests across the nation, but if we can shift 50 percent of this water to agriculture and food production, the results will be amazing,” he said.
“Further, by transforming the desert into arable land that sequesters carbon and promotes biodiversity, we address water scarcity, food security, and climate action at the same time,” he said.
Desert Control joined in5 in 2018 and was named as one of the World Economic Forum’s top 100 Arab startups.