China: Making the Desert Bloom


Paul Chong                                 Saturday, 30 September 2017

Greening the desert ensures combating & sustaining the environment from land degradation, climate change, livelihood, productive agricultural activities, provides employment, pollution of sand storms as affecting Beijing plus a host of others. Land is a valuable asset. Xi Jinping, the Chinese President is advocating the planting of trees as a “Green Wall” against desertification.

China hungers for land to meet the needs of its 1.3 billion population. The west of China is comprised of mountains and deserts as well as plateaus that do not provide much arable land for agriculture. Deserts dominate the landscape, while in the central and east areas, the land slopes into broad plains and deltas. China is very much a land of great physical diversity.
The eastern plains and southern coasts of the country consists of fertile lowlands and foothills, and is the location of most of China’s agricultural output and human population.
Thus when China undertakes a project, it always do it in a mega way.

Elsewhere in the world similar projects of land reclamation from the deserts are also taking place as in Israel, Egypt & the Middle East. The technology is somewhat different from that of China.

China has a breakthrough technology in creating a paste that can convert sand into soil. The paste is made up of materials found naturally in plants. Sand when mixed with this paste can retain water, nutrients & air. It would take 6 months only to transform 200 hectares of desert to arable agricultural land with a cost ranging from 4500 to 6500 USD per hectare.

This breakthrough offers an effective solution to deforestation and is credited to the researchers at Chongqing Jiaotong University.

Combating desertification in China is best illustrated in the video as below:

Chinese Miracle

Agroecology in China: 300% Increase on 8.6 Million Acres – Loess Plateau
New technology in China turns desert into land rich with crops
Xinjiang reclaims lands swallowed by Gobi Desert


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