With a growing demand for sustainability and food security across the Middle East, many growers are turning to an innovative new technology that is saving growers thousands of dollars a month.
Developed in the UK by Engage Crop Solutions, the new water saving technology called Aqualatus is cutting water, electricity and fertilizer use by as much as 50% while still increasing crop yields.
Aqualatus will be on show at AgraME in Dubai from October 9-10, allowing growers to learn how it can help them improve sustainability and their profits.
Alfredo Garcia is a director and technical manager of Agroliner Agricultura Avanzada and supplies CASI, the largest tomato growing group in Europe with Aqualatus, and says the technology is transforming growing in hot climates.
He says: “In these conditions, Aqualatus is saving up to 30%- 50% of water, electricity and fertilizers in Spain, because we have a monthly expense per hectare of between $2,750 and $3,045, if we save between 30% and 50%, the farmer can save between $825 and $1,523 per hectare a month.”
Some growers are reporting up to 65% savings in water use while still seeing yield increases and a trial with the Municipality of Dubai proved the city could save as much as $152m (560 million dirham) a year when they used Aqualatus in irrigation systems for landscaped areas.
Aqualatus is applied to irrigation systems and is a sophisticated blend of liquid polymers which contain billions of microscopic structures that adhere to soil particles and slow the gravitational movement of water and promotes lateral movement, thereby increasing the moisture-holding capacity of the soil and also improving soil quality.
Surface runoff and evaporation are significantly reduced and gravitational movement is dramatically slowed. Reducing this natural water loss allows for irrigation volumes to be much lower and timings to be shorter as the soil is more retentive.
Aqualatus has been successfully trialled in the Middle East and around the world and is environmentally safe, completely breaking down in the soil after use.
Agronomists are also backing the technology. Leading agronomist Inmaculada Martinez Membrive is working with growers across Spain. She says: “I recommend Aqualatus mainly for its soil conditioning power, in both sandy and heavy soils.”
“The product is capable of increasing the holding capacity of both water and nutrients in light soils and also filtration and oxygenation in heavy soils.”
“The benefits in crops go from an improvement of the root development to an increase in crop yield. It is all thanks to Aqualatus’s ability to improve plant nutrition and make it optimal.”
Founder Director of Engage Crop Solutions, Peter Blezard, adds: “Aqualatus is transforming growing in hot climates. It’s a proven technology that is saving growers thousands of dollars and is improving their profitability and, perhaps more importantly, their sustainability.
“Reducing water use in agriculture while improving food security is a key challenge for the Middle East but Aqualatus is proving to be part of the solution. We are working with growers around the world and helping to ensure they can meet these challenges while remaining profitable.”
Engage are also looking for partners in the region, contact Peter for an informal discussion.