MOROCCO: Sand to Green raises $1M for desalination irrigation and agroforestry

11 02 2023 | 08:48 Inès Magoum / AFRIC21

The French-Moroccan start-up Sand to Green has obtained $1 million in seed funding for its project to "green deserts through agroforestry and water desalination". The funds raised from several investors will be used to create new arable land in Morocco.

Sand to Green’s green project, which consists of “regreening deserts through agroforestry and water desalination” is attracting new investors. For its first fundraising for the project, the French-Moroccan start-up obtained 1 million dollars. The funds were raised from several business angels and venture capital funds, such as Katapult and Catalyst Fund.

Sand to Green aims to create new arable land in Morocco, while continuing to fund research and development (R&D) of desalination and measuring soil re-fertilisation. For the first quarter of 2023, the start-up is announcing the creation of 20 hectares of arable land for agriculture in the south of the Cherifian kingdom.

Irrigation by water desalination

“We will offer these plantations as green investment products to investors, while taking care of their development and associated services such as agronomic expertise, operations and commodity production,” explains Benjamin Rombaut, managing director and co-founder of Sand to Green. This will allow them to finance soil regenerating and ecological agriculture or agroforestry that does not create deforestation, but ensures similar or even higher yields than conventional agriculture.

The solution proposed by the start-up is also based on irrigation by desalination of sea water and brackish water. The start-up is developing the drip technique, with a natural hydro-retainer to rationalise the use of the resource.

Read Also – MOROCCO: The construction of three new desalination plants will be launched in 2023

Agroforestry software will enable the daily management and monitoring of plantations by collecting field and satellite data. In order to find these resilient and adapted farming systems, Stand to Green has been testing them for three years in different target areas of Morocco, notably in the Guelmin-Oued Noun region.

Inès Magoum