RDI has begun its plan to transform the desert into verdant green lands. Along with the launch of RDI’s new hub in Abu Dhabi, numerous exhibition installations of RDI’s plant-responsive GrowStream™ system have begun in farms throughout the emirate. After only 1-2 months of installing the RDI system, the plants are demonstrating excellent growth and development.
Conventional irrigation systems have struggled to be water-efficient in these regions. Hyper-arid climates, evaporation and percolation through sandy soil, quickly contribute to water loss. RDI’s plant-responsive innovation is the first system to ever interact directly with plant roots, releasing water only when each individual plant needs it. This revolutionary method of water and nutrient delivery demonstrate water-use efficiency unlike any other irrigation system.
RDI’s team began the exhibition projects alongside their new UAE distributor, Radoom Agricultural Company. Ali Almazrouei, CEO of Radoom, has awaited the establishment of RDI’s business in Abu Dhabi for the opportunity to work with RDI’s staff from the U.S. and begin projects using GrowStream™ in Liwa, Madinat Zayed and Al Ain. As a farmer himself, Ali Almazrouei can envision the benefits that this technology can provide for his country: “The water savings are going to change everything. These projects are going very well. Farmers are calling me every day for projects, and we will have a store next year to support all the work.”
With the vision and assistance of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to promote new AgTech, alongside Ali Almazrouei’s wisdom, agriculture experience, and strong desire to offer a greener future for Abu Dhabi, Responsive Drip Irrigation has been able to initiate further research and development of its plant-responsive technology in desert climates and also establish its new production and distribution facility in KIZAD. RDI is now producing GrowStream™ tubing in Abu Dhabi and the system is available for the MENA region. RDI’s recent project installations in Abu Dhabi are certainly capturing the attention and interest of landowners throughout the region.
RDI’s first project in Abu Dhabi focused on demonstrating the versatility of its plant-responsive technology. The farmer in Madinat Zayed planted a mix of crops: tomatoes, chili peppers, figs, lemon trees, carrots, aloe, and more, with RDI GrowStream™; all using the same irrigation line (no separate zones or water scheduling). Such a diverse crop mix and water requirements needs a sophisticated system to manage the irrigation schedules, but RDI allows each plant to take as much, or as little water as it needs. This versatility and ease of crop diversity will be essential as Abu Dhabi continues its shift to a variety of locally-produced food.
RDI GrowStream™ was installed at a farm nearby a camel racetrack. Water runoff from the camel washing has been collected and recycled, but has been challenging to use for irrigation. Previously, the farm manager would have to manually turn on the high-pressure system every few days to irrigate a section of date palms. RDI’s unique delivery method meant they could automate the irrigation schedule and reduce their labor. By using a simple solar pump to move water from the collection reservoir into an elevated tank, the RDI system makes the recycling process extremely efficient. The slightly elevated tank provides the low-pressure required by the RDI system to deliver water to all the trees when it’s needed. The farmer plans to expand irrigation with the RDI system and use the recycled water for alfalfa production.
In another innovative project in Al Khatim, a tilapia farmer installed RDI GrowStream™ for his fig trees. RDI’s low energy requirements allowed for a simple setup for the aquaponic system. Utilizing the fish waste in the water creates a nutrient-rich, organic solution that is ideal for plants. With RDI’s minimal water requirements, this project is an excellent example of how sustainable agriculture will help shape the future of food production.
Though it’s currently the cooler months in Abu Dhabi, the test of extreme summers will arrive soon. With RDI’s system, plants will be able to manage their water intake as temperatures rise. When plants struggle to grow and thrive, GrowStream™ can deliver what they need, minute-by-minute, through even the hottest days. “The power of our plant-responsive technology and our new innovation to help plants adapt to extreme temperatures will clearly establish the impact of RDI’s disruptive technology, which will forever change crop production in the desert,” says Jan Gould, CEO of RDI. “For generations, the people living in water-scarce, desert regions have had to diligently work and strive to create productive farmland in the harshest of environments. It remains RDI’s mission to work with people from every country to introduce GrowStreamTM to meet increasing food production demands and conserve water, the planet’s precious resource that’s essential to all life.”
Contact Radoom Agricultural Company, RDI’s UAE distributor at www.radoom.com
For more information on RDI and distribution opportunities in your region, visit www.responsivedrip.com