Growing rice on the oceans
What is the Challenge?
Over 40 million people across 51 countries are currently facing emergency levels of hunger. This dire situation is exacerbated by the catastrophic effects of climate change. Among the challenges, the rapid rise in seawater levels is significantly impacting agriculture, resulting in salt-water intrusion and elevated salinity levels in agricultural land. Could there be a way to harness the oceans for crop cultivation, achieving what would otherwise be deemed impossible?
What is the Solution?
Alora's long-term vision for Ocean Agriculture, established in 2019, is acclaimed for addressing multiple sustainability challenges such as water scarcity mitigation, pesticide, herbicide, and chemical fertilizer reduction, along with a significant decrease in methane emissions traditionally associated with rice cultivation. Alora uses no freshwater, no chemical fertilizers, or pesticides when growing their rice. Their innovative co-cultivation method involves growing rice alongside beneficial bacteria capable of capturing methane and nitrogen from the air to produce bio-fertilizer. This marine environment cultivation, with inherent high salt concentrations, inhibits methane-producing bacteria, marking a substantial stride towards environmentally friendly agriculture.
Moreover, Alora's approach tackles the escalating soil salinity issues, introducing a novel solution that not only transforms non-productive land into productive land but also sets a precedent in sustainable food production aligned with ecological preservation. By employing innovative genetic technology and a profound understanding of evolutionary biology, Alora aims to propel humanity towards a sustainable, hunger-free world, thus creating the future of food. Their broader goal involves developing oceaning salt-tolerant crops beyond rice, and contributing to building an ocean agriculture system delivering high yields while using zero freshwater and minimal land use. Through processes like gene targeting, stem cell generation, and ocean cultivation of modified plants, Alora strives to utilize oceans for sustainable food production, addressing critical agricultural issues like water scarcity and carbon emission.