Can you grow rice in the desert? Sharjah says it can
Sharjah is about to start its second experimental rice cultivation project, that hopes to prove that despite the hot weather, rice can indeed be grown here in the UAE.
The first experiment – which lasted from November to May 2020 – was a huge success, with researchers able to cultivate two types of rice in an area of 2,200 square meters. The rice was capable of withstanding the UAE’s high temperatures, as well as our local soil.
The next stage of the experiment is getting ready to begin, and is a joint partnership project between the ministry’s Agricultural Innovation Centre in Al Dhaid, Sharjah, as well as the Rural Development Administration of the Republic of Korea.
The general idea is to both increase local production of food, and expand the agricultural sector. Being able to turn parts of the desert into rich farmland would obviously do wonders for both those factors, as well as increase the UAE’s sustainability when it comes to food.
Rice appears to be the perfect crop to be grown in the desert, as it is extremely hardwearing. For the second stage of the project, researchers are going to try and increase production while at the same time reducing water demand in hopes that it will become easier to grow in future.
The pilot phase of the project created 763 kilograms of rice per 1,000 square metres of land.
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