Desertification, and specifically the loss of fertile arable land, is a phenomenon that poses a major threat to global food production, particularly in the developing world. About 12 million hectares of arable land is lost to erosion each year, and it is estimated that land degradation in the next 25 years has the potential to reduce global food production by up to 12% (UNCCD).
Understanding the severity of the issue, Expo 2020's innovation and partnership programme Expo Live selected Desert Control as one of its Global Innovators for inventing liquid nanoclay (LNC).
This innovative solution is a mixture of water and nanoparticles of clay that can turn dry and sandy land into water-retaining arable soil. The mixture – made on site from natural materials – is applied to land in the same way as regular irrigation, making it an easy and accessible solution for farmers around the world.
Desert Control has tested LNC in China, Egypt, Pakistan and the UAE, with results showing 30-50% increase in water and fertiliser retention, reducing the need for irrigation and increasing yields. After validating the technology, the company is now scaling up, and has had a successful IPO launch on Euronext Growth Oslo Stock Exchange.
With the support of Expo Live, Desert Control’s mission of “making the Earth green again” seems to have a promising future with a global impact.
The Expo 2020 Dubai Innovation Series is a weekly blog series highlighting some of the creative and world-changing innovations that are being showcased via Expo 2020 Dubai’s programmes and pavilions.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.