Turning that logic on its head is a desert in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Crops like corn, tomatoes, sorghum and sunflowers are transforming more than 200 hectares of sand dunes into an oasis – all within six months.
It’s all thanks to new technology developed by researchers at Chongqing Jiaotong University. They developed a PASTE made of a substance found in plant cell walls.
When it’s added to sand, it’s able to retain water, nutrients and air.
“The costs of artificial materials and machines for transforming sand into soil is lower compared with controlled environmental agriculture and reclamation,” Yang Qingguo, professor at Chongqing Jiaotong University said.
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