The United Arab Emirates will be self-sufficient in its own food production. The solution can be found at a company from Stavanger.
STAVANGER (Nettavisen Økonomi 🙂 Two months after that The Stavanger company Desert Control went public, the first major contract has been signed.
The agreement with the Abu Dhabi company Mawarid Holding has a value of NOK 3 million, and is based on Desert Control to prevent desertification and ensure food production in areas exposed to drought.
The contract could be an important commercial breakthrough into an important focus area for Desert Control, which will both make money and save biodiversity in drought-prone areas such as the Middle East and North Africa.
– It is an absolutely fantastic feeling, says Ole Kristian Sivertsen to Nettavisen on the phone from Abu Dhabi.
For several days, the Desert Control commander has had his hands in the soil at temperatures well above 40 degrees. He is looking forward to going home to cool off, but does not hide his excitement about having found an ideal partner in the Middle East.
– This is a company that is responsible for the management of natural resources in the United Arab Emirates, and works with agriculture, nature reserves, forests and food security both here and in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa, Sivertsen says to Nettavisen.
WHAT: Desert Control has developed a patented nano-clay (LNC), which can turn decayed soil into arable land. Thus, for example, desert sand can be transformed into green areas.
HOW: Liquid NanoClay (LNC), the nano clay, is natural clay that is run through a mixing process together with water that divides the clay into tiny particles. The nano-clay is added to, for example, desert sand through certain spreading methods. Furthermore, the clay penetrates the sand surface, creating a natural bond between the sand particles. This makes the sand more sticky, and creates a new soil from which plants and green areas can grow.
- Areas that are lost annually due to desertification and drought could produce 20 million tonnes of grain each year.
- World food production must increase by 70 percent by 2050 for the whole world to eat.
- By 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience water scarcity, and two thirds of the world will without abundant access to clean water.
- Rehabilitating decayed soils and degraded ecosystems has the potential to sequester 3 billion tonnes of CO2 annually.
Source: Desert Control
Can provide mass rollout of technology
The collaboration with the Emirates Arabs is a pilot project that extends until mid-October. If the project is successful, it can mean great opportunities for the listed Stavanger company.
Sivertsen says that Desert Control will be able to continue the development of the patented nano camp that transforms desert sand into arable land, and separate the collaboration with Mawarid as a separate company. The goal is to gain exclusive rights for the United Arab Emirates and expand cooperation to other countries.
– This provides enormous opportunities both internally in the UAE and when it comes to external customers. This is a potential delivery channel that can accelerate the distribution of LNC significantly, says Sivertsen.
– You have been on the stock exchange for two months. Did you think it would be so quick to land such an agreement?
– One should always set high goals, work hard and stand on. We are passionate about this, and then come the results. But that it should take such a short time is fantastic, says Sivertsen.
– On soulmate
The agreement is described by Mawarid’s chairman, HE Abdul-Jaleel Ablouki, as an important initiative to reduce water consumption, increase energy efficiency and protect biodiversity in the United Arab Emirates.
At times, temperatures can get well above 40 degrees. The UAE imports at least 80 percent of the food they eat, and the government has taken several steps in research and development in recent years to produce more of its own food.
Former UAE ruler HH Sheik Zayed, who died in 2004, has been credited with modernizing the federation during his time as emir and president through a series of reforms. Zayed is described as passionate about ensuring self-sufficiency through its own food production. The agreement with Norwegian Desert Control can certainly be said to be in line with his vision, which is often exemplified through the quote “give me agriculture, then I guarantee you civilization”.
– I am extremely driven by this, and it is probably as much an assignment for me as a job. Meeting people like Abdul-Jaleel Ablouki, who is so passionate about continuing the vision of Sheik Zayed, is absolutely wonderful. It was like meeting a soulmate, who lives and breathes to protect and build up green areas, says Sivertsen.
Desert Control is headquartered in Stavanger. Several high-profile investors have already contributed funds to climate technology, including series founder Jakob Hatteland, Fjord Line owner Frode Teigen, kindergarten founder Einar Jansen, shipowner Cathrine Hermansen and the billionaire couple Johan Odvar and Kristin Odfjell.
At the end of March, Desert Control raised more than NOK 200 million in a capital raising to go public.
12 million hectares of land are lost to desertification annually, and Desert Control sees LNC technology as both a solution and an opportunity to make good money. Through a number of validation programs conducted by independent research organizations in the Middle East, the company has proven that LNC technology works. The agreement in the UAE is an opportunity to scale up further, it is stated in a press release from the partners.
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