A new “transformational” crop input technology has been developed that allows growers to cut irrigation cycles by half and still see exceptional results without any loss of crop development, yield and quality.
Developed in the UK by Engage Crop Solutions, the new water technology called Aqualatus could be transformational in delivering water security for the Middle East while also ensuring food security through crop quality, cost savings and profit growth for the growers.
Managing Director of Engage Crop Solutions, Peter Blezard, says: “Water has been dubbed the new ‘blue gold’ in the Middle East because the crisis is so severe.
“We have worked for 10 years to develop Aqualatus and we believe it should be a key part of the solution, ensuring agriculture can dramatically cut the amount of water it needs and helping to ensure water remains available to everyone in this region and around the world.”
“Aqualatus could save as much as 76 billion litres of freshwater a year alone in the Middle East. This adds up to a potential financial saving of $135bn for agricultural businesses and it will help to grow profits further by improving crop quality and yields too.”
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 almost completely eradicated 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 undergone 10 years of trials in the Middle East and around the world and is completely environmentally safe, breaking down to nothing in the soil after use.
A leading agricultural engineer that works across 14 countries in the Middle East and has used Aqualatus on a range of crops said about the product: “The greatest challenge for agriculture in the Middle East is the water shortage. Aqualatus solves the problem and could be a critical part of the solution needed for this region.
“We are on the brink of a green revolution, but all of the crops we need to feed people in this region require huge quantities of water. Aqualatus will cut the water used by agriculture in half and that will have a massive impact on the future of the region.”
Peter adds: “This is a proven technology and there’s nothing else on the market that can deliver the same scale of benefits to growers. We are so confident that this can transform growing operations across the Middle East that we’re happy to provide free products to anyone so they can see the benefits for themselves.”