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UAE’s growing focus on localized food production puts spotlight on solutions that convert deserts to arable lands

Dake Rechsand, a Dubai-based company, specializing in sustainability solutions for desert farming and water conservation, lauded the government’s food security vision, which led to a special session recently. Attended by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, and Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, the high-level session echoed the need for innovative technologies and impactful initiatives to turn the vision into reality. 

“The specialized meeting on food security is commendable for two foremost reasons: Getting the priorities straight and timing. The UAE is emphasizing sustainable food security at the right time when the supply-chain lessons from the pandemic needed to be acted upon. Additionally, the intent to harness technologies to drive the food security vision is as pragmatic as it is promising,” opined Marwan Al Sarkal, Strategic Advisor, Dake Rechsand.

In recent years, Dake Rechsand has emerged at the forefront of regional sustainability efforts through demonstrated impact in terms of desert farming, water conservation, and stormwater management. Its proprietary, the UN-applauded solution Breathable Sand — a water-retentive and air-permeable medium that leads to optimal crop yield with 80% less water input — has found application in turning deserts into arable lands. So, in the UAE, where deserts constitute nearly 80% of the total land and water scarcity is a pressing issue, Breathable Sand makes a compelling case within the food-security framework. 

“The UAE is 80% desert, where agriculture is traditionally deemed unsuitable. If those expansive areas can be made ‘arable,’ we can turn the tables on food scarcity. We need such a paradigm shift — something with macroeconomic implications for the country. At the same time, the solutions must also reconcile with other national priorities such as water security, sustainability, and net-zero emission,” explained Chandra Dake, CEO of Dake Rechsand. 

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