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Hydrogel Agriculture to Support Food Security in Qatar | Qatar University

Hydrogel Agriculture to Support Food Security in Qatar

2022-11-08
HYDROGEL AGRICULTURE TO SUPPORT FOOD SECURITY IN QATAR.jpg

The Problem

In Qatar, farming activities suffer from limited freshwater resources and high losses due to evaporation. Due to Qatar's arid climate and lack of fertile soil, the region has very limited natural water resources. Consequently, agriculture is uneconomical due to the high energy and water demands.

The solution

QU research team led by Prof. Alaa Al Hawari was successful in creating a novel environmentally friendly hydrogel material suitable for agriculture in dry and harsh climates.

  • The novel hydrogel is 99% water and is able to retain water and nutrients in the soil for 20 times longer period.
  • The new method is predicted to save up to 70% of used irrigation water
  • The hydrogel can be recycled as it decomposes into beneficial components that are absorbed by the plants.
  • The new technology will promote the organic farming concept.
  • The new hydrogel will encourage farming activities in Qatar which suffers from limited fresh water resources and high losses through evaporation.

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Dr. Alaa at the lab

Name of the researcher: Prof. Alaa Al Hawari

College of Engineering