Inayat-ur-Rahman, Deputy Business Editor
The global organic food market surpassed a valuation of $100 billion last year.
Dake Rechsand, a Dubai-based company offering sustainable solutions for decentralised rainwater harvesting and desert farming, is advocating the adoption of breathable sand technology, to empower agri-entrepreneurship in the MENA region.
This meteoric growth can be attributed to the influx of entrepreneurs into the market, particularly in Europe and Oceania. But climatic, soil fertility and water access limitations have inhibited a similar growth in the MENA region, so far.
"Acute water scarcity, limited arable land and a generally arid climate in MENA are long-standing barriers to organic farming — which requires conformity to a range of criteria, including little to no chemical input," said Chandra Dake, CEO and Founder of Dake Rechsand.
"However, breathable sand technology, will now unlock the potential for extensive organic farming, in the region. Dake Rechsand is keen to empower regional entrepreneurs seeking to carve out a stake in a highly lucrative global market, by leveraging the premium attracted by organic produce.".
Chandra's assertion is based on the interest generated by his company's proprietary sand technology since its launch earlier this year. "Magic sand"- as Dake Rechsand likes to call it - is fine desert sand coated with special technology, which allows it to retain water for extended periods while allowing free air circulation. When such a cost-effective medium is used in deserts, it enables optimal cultivation of a wide range of crops without chemical fertilizers, while reducing water requirements by nearly 80%.
“Not only does Dake Rechsand’s breathable sand technology redefine the term ‘arable land’, deserts are also inherently uncontaminated by fertilisers and chemicals. And it’s this combination that opens the door to high returns on investment, for entrepreneurs”, Chandra elaborated.
“Since our proprietary magic sand is also devoid of organic material, produce grown using this medium will be eligible for an organic certification from the very first crop cycle, as opposed to the five years, that the process can typically take”.
According to statistics issued by FiBL and IFOAM, the certified organic lands in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are just 1.2% and 0.02% of the total agricultural land, respectively – reinforcing the magnitude of the untapped potential for expansion, within the region. Chandra believes that these figures will increase dramatically, as the first generation of agri-entrepreneurs in the region implements the Dake Rechsand sand technology.
"The pandemic-induced health and wellness imperative, combined with tailwinds from eco-consumerism, make for ideal conditions, for investors and entrepreneurs looking at opportunities within the organic produce segment, in MENA", Chandra added. "This is also a chance for them to play a part in enhancing localised production and food security in the region, while making inroads into a lucrative global market, which is set to grow in size and value, for years to come," Chandra concluded.
Want to sample the diverse culinary heritage of Africa? Head to KIZA Dubai, the fine dining restaurant that offers a mix of vibrant, traditional flavours from the continent.
In its report, the ADAFSA stated that the closure decision came due to the facility’s failure to abide by the conditions and requirements related to health and food safety repeatedly.
Supple, moist and rich, the Tres Leches cake in jar form whipped up by UAE-based entrepreneur Oulfat Lkorchy and her 14-year-old daughter Hur Almualla, is a dessert you can't say no to. Check out the recipe for this luscious dessert.
The UBS takeover of embattled rival Credit Suisse has shaken Switzerland’s self-image and dented its reputation as a global financial center,
Inflation in the 20 countries that use the euro currency slowed to the lowest level in a year as energy prices dropped, but food costs were still on the rise,
The CEOs Consultative Council of UAE Banks Federation, the representative and unified voice of banks in the UAE, held its first meeting of the current year on 21 March 2023