Water-saving agriculture in Somalia with IOM

Tottori Resource Recycling, a Japanese foamed glass manufacturer through recycling technology, will be launching a pilot project in Somalia to test an innovative water-saving agriculture technology with its product “Porous Alpha”, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Somalia.

The “Porous Alpha”, a foamed glass based porous material developed by TRR, increases the water retention capacity of the soil by simply being mixed in the soil. The most recent project in Morocco, in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), realized 50% water-saving alongside a more than 20% yield increase. This technology can be used by farmers at any level of technical knowledge because of:
  1. the simple application by hand-hoe, hand-tractor or tractor
  2. no need of maintenance after application
  3. the effect for long duration and
  4. no need to change the method of irrigation and production.
Thanks to TICAD VI (the sixth Tokyo International Conference of African Development) held in Nairobi, Kenya in August 2016, IOM and TRR were introduced to each other and agreed to implement the mentioned pilot project as TRR’s water-saving agriculture technology is likely to effectively respond to the food crisis in Somalia.

Application of “Porous Alpha” in Morocco

In Somalia where the climate is dry and the water resource is scarce, IOM has been implementing a range of projects to improve the livelihood conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in humanitarian contexts. With the outlook of further decrease of rainfall due to climate change in 2017 and 2018, the food security for IDPs in Somalia is one of the serious humanitarian challenges. In this context, there is a high demand for a simple technology that requires less water to contribute to sustainable and climate-smart agriculture for IDPs.

In the upcoming pilot project with IOM, TRR will provide technical assistance by sending experts to Nairobi in Kenya to transfer the technology to IOM staff as well as officials of the Ministry of Agriculture of Somalia. The trainees will start farming with Porous Alpha in Somalia and compare the agricultural productivity with the normal farming method in order to assess the impact and applicability of the technology.

The global food demand is expected to grow based on the population growth, meanwhile the expandable arable land is limited and the available water resource for agriculture may be decreased due to the reduction of precipitation and more frequent drought by Climate Change. TRR is now participating in COP22 (Conference of the Parties) to exhibit the technology and discuss the possibility of collaboration with relevant parties. TRR contributes to the global food security through the sustainable and climate-smart agriculture technology with “Porous Alpha”.

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