Today’s Solutions: July 25, 2024

Climate change is drastically changing global weather patterns. Wet places are getting wetter, and dry places are getting drier. The human-caused degradation of dry land known as desertification is growing across farmlands, such as in California. The state is one of the country’s largest producers of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that has seen severe drought on and off over the last decade. This is a problem, but Desert Control is working to alleviate the effects of desertification.

On December 28th, 2020, Ole-Kristian Sivertsen, CEO of Desert Control sat down with Kristy and Summers to discuss how his business is tackling the issue of desertification.

Soil is made up of countless living microbes combined with nutrients and earth. Good healthy soil is dark, wet, and loamy, but years of unsustainable farming practices make soil dustier, less able to retain water and more susceptible to erosion and desertification. 12 million hectares of fertile land erode every year, but Silversten and his team are working to counter this process.

Desert Control has developed a liquid nano clay. That may seem high-tech, but it’s quite simple. It is very fine clay particles mixed into water to create a liquid that is poured over a field to increase its water retention. In the first months of 2019, data showed a 47 percent increase in water retention, reduced soil salinity, improved soil health, improved yield, and biomass production. Nano clay technology makes soil less prone to drought and thereby desertification.

“We’re amidst a war in Ukraine that will have devastating consequences for global food security. Millions depend on food from Ukraine… Degradation of land, accelerating loss of fertile soil, and increasing water scarcity further complicate the situation,” says Silvertsen.

“The outlook may seem dire, but solutions inspire hope. We are seeing barren land brought back to life; desert sand turned into farmland, regeneration of soil that preserves water and fertilizers, restoration of biodiversity, planting of trees, and a growing movement dedicated to climate-smart regenerative agriculture.”

Desert Control made its initial public offering in 2021. The company has grown almost ten-fold and has established operations in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. As of December 2020, the cost of treating a hectare of land is $20,000, but Sivertsen is confident that he can bring that down to a fraction of the cost. The reason people will choose his treatment over his competitors is because of the ease of use that comes with his product. There are many other water retention treatments, but they disturb the ground massively and have long turnaround times. With liquid nano clay, seeds can be planted 7 hours after the treatment has finished. This treatment and technology could revolutionize farming and save countless square miles of land from desertification. 

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