In order to stop desertification due to climate changes and reduce the number of migrants from Africa and the Middle East to Europe different methods may be used. One way could be to turn the arid sandy areas that the migrants come from or travel through fertile. With today's technology that is possible. However, the question is whether it is an economically viable solution? Therefore as a first step a theoretical studies must be done.
With that purpose in mind the company “Desert Farming” was established. You can read more on our website www.desertfarming.eu.
During the autumn 2018 one student at Copenhagen University has completed an internship resulting in the report “Economic Viability of Desert Farming – 1” with the company. The report is available on request. Conclusions from the study are that the proposed method (treatment of the soil in combination with subsurface irrigation) is in fact potentially a viable solution. However, more studies are required in order to raise funding for pilot projects that can confirm the theoretical calculations of yield and economy. Such studies include
- accurate and professional business plans.
They may be parametric plans so that they can be used for different types
of crops and changes of market prices.
- what types of crops would be most beneficial for a desert climate.
The method work for both trees, vegetables and grain.
- more exact estimates of amount of water required
Increased value of the crop is to be expected since droughts should not influence the yield. Due to the irrigation maximum yield may be obtained every year. It should also be noted that fertilizer may be added to the water making the distribution easier.
Different types of crops should be examined: Fruit trees, vegetables and grain. For each type a different configuration of the root zone irrigation should be used. The hope is that the study would quickly show what kind of crop would be most economical. The sensivity of cost increases should also be studied. Variation of market prices during a number of years should be studied. In areas prone to droughts the irrigation system ensures that higher prices can be achieved when the yield from farming without irrigation fails.
Notice that only costs in addition to agriculture without soil treatment and irrigation need to be included since other costs should not be different from ”traditional farming”.
A first very simple calculation to do is comparison of the price of arable land and desert land. If the cost of 100 ha arable land is 1 mill. € and the cost of desert land 0, then you have already 1 mill. € for installation of irrigation system and soil treatment.