The artificial soil technology allows researchers to create soil that resembles that of Ukraine and Thailand
Researchers at Khalifa University of Science and Technology have developed ‘artificial soil’ with the necessary ingredients and properties required to grow plans and vegetables in the agricultural sector, according to the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency.
A provisional patent has been filed to ensure further development of the research work and its potential commercialisation, Khalifa University said in a statement.
The patient – which was developed by Dr Saeed Alhassan Alkhazraji, associate professor, chemical engineering and researcher Kevin Halique – describes a method to prepare customisable soil that resembles soils in Thailand and Ukraine.
“We have developed a method that will allow us to make artificial soil using abundantly available non-fertile sand here in the UAE,” Dr. Alkhazraji said.
“Thus the soil is tailored to any specific texture and porosity to emulate some of the well-known fertile soils, such as the Thailand soil which has great alluvial deposits or the Ukraine black soil, the grassland soil that is used extensively for growing cereals or for raising livestock,” he added.
Desert takes up n80 percent of the UAE’s territory, restricting agricultural activities to a relatively small area.
Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice-president of Khalifa Univesity, said that “we believe this type of research will help and support not only the country’s agriculture sector but may also benefit those countries with arid regions that lack a suitable farming environment.”