The Nature-Based Projects
Food Without Water, Land and Energy
Our Nature-Based Solutions supported by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are based on combining technologies to create a high nutritional food chain through large-scale biosaline aquaculture in the Sahara Desert, under extreme conditions that no one else has the capabilities and technologies to do it before, and without relying on fresh water, aquacultural land and energy.
Our plan includes restoring large depressions in the Sahara Desert, which one of them is similar to the size of Israel (20,000 km2). These depressions used to be water sources around 8,000 years ago when the Sahara was a Savannah, but today they are completely dry and arid. These depressions are located close to marine sources such as the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea. By filling these depressions, we could also generate hydro-energy without using additional energy, thanks to the negative slope of the water flow.
In these restored water bodies, we will cultivate a specific seaweed strain that has been specially developed to thrive in arid environments and is optimized with patented technology to contain higher amounts of protein, minerals, nutritional fiber, antioxidants, chlorophyll and vitamins. Remains serve as an excellent organic fertilizer. The variety of algae could remove substantial amounts of carbon from the atmosphere each year, researchers have demonstrated in a published study that harnessing the photosynthetic activity of the algae in our project's specific location could effectively sequester at least 70 million tons of carbon annually!
The seaweed also will be cultivated to feed Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae. BSF larvae contain up to 60% protein, up to 35% lipids, have an amino acid profile similar to fishmeal, grow 8000 times its protein weight and are certified by the European Union. The remaining BSF frass is a source of bioactive compounds, in addition to generally high protein and fat content, frass contains abundant nutrients, chitin, and beneficial microbe and are to be valorized as organic fertilizer.
BSF larvae fed with the mix of the seaweed we raised and organic waste from nearby cities will be processed into sterile protein powder and oil using industry-leading rendering technology. In this way, our nature-based projects will provide the full value chain for local protein production in North Africa, resulting in locally sourced and affordable feed inputs and thereby supporting a resilient and sustainable aquaculture and livestock industry.
Source: FAO, 2020