Praise Project Helping Desert Regions Grow Their Own Food


Target: Joakim Hauge, CEO for the Sahara Forest Project

Goal: Applaud the organization’s innovative projects helping increase the crop production and food security of desert regions

For hundreds of years Northern Africa has been used as a breeding ground for other nations’ crops. The Romans under the reign of Julius Caesar subjected Northern African lands to the monocropping of grain, thus depleting the soil’s nutrients and fertility. This exploitation has made it more difficult for modern Northern Africans to produce crops in sustainable ways. Instead the region has had to rely heavily on imports; and with much of the area unstable politically as well many North Africans face the ongoing threat of starvation.

Over the years a project has developed intent on turning things around. According to a description on an architectural partner’s website, Exploration, The Sahara Forest Project incorporates cutting-edge techniques like saltwater-cooled greenhouses and photovoltaic solar cells. The project’s trial run in Qatar was extremely successful. By incorporating crops that thrive in saltwater environments, using algae for biofuel and other desert revegetation techniques the Qatar pilot matched the productivity levels of greenhouse in Europe with just one hectare of land. With 60 hectares of land similar projects could potentially grow enough cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines (or eggplants) to match the volume currently being imported into Qatar.

Because the trial results have been extremely positive the Norway-based Sahara Forest Project team and its partners will continue to create prototypes that are increasingly larger in scale. With more people coming into this world every day and not enough resources to feed them, creative solutions like the Sahara Forest Project deserve our full support. Thank the CEO of the Sahara Forest Project for spearheading an endeavor that could help solve our global food crisis.


Dear Mr. Hauge,

Thank you for demonstrating leadership in your efforts to help regions inhospitable to agriculture produce more of their own food crops. When most of a community’s food is grown in far-away regions people loose connection with the land that sustains them; and lacking the ability to grow food locally leaves people in a precarious position indeed.

By focusing on the land and the foods that thrive in that particular climate, the Sahara Forest Project presents a strong argument against monocropping and other modern agricultural practices that have hugely contributed to global food insecurity.

Congratulations to you and your partners, having worked hard to make the prototype in Qatar such a success. Best of luck to the Sahara Forest Project in all its future trials!


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wonker-Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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