• Tree planting technology for climate change, ending poverty, feeding communities and creating jobs
  • Devices to ensure tree/crop growth under the most extreme conditions
  • Trees planted in an area that received no rain for 2 decades grew 2 meters in a single year
  • +90% tree survival rate using 90% less water
  • Cleantech company named a National Icon of the Netherlands

Using Groasis technology, trees are growing in the the driest of deserts

Deforestation is occurring rapidly across our planet, yet the need for an increase in agricultural land is rising exponentially with the human population fast approaching 10 billion people. The United Nations expects that almost 3 billion people in 48 countries will live short of necessary water supplies in just 10 years. To counteract these issues, Pieter Hoff, a former lily breeder, founded Groasis. This Dutch cleantech company is aiming to reduce the amount of fresh water we waste on agriculture annually with their tree planting technology. Between 70-80% of water used goes to agriculture, but they have ambitions to reduce this number by 90%. 

According to the companies site there is some 2 billion hectares of degraded farmland available that could be used for agricultural purposes. In this space, 5-10 tonnes of food per hectare can be grown, offsetting approximately 15 tonnes of CO2 in that same space. One direct job and one indirect job can be created for each hectare of land that is repurposed for growing trees, plants and vegetables.

A major goal of Groasis is to develop and implement ‘ecological water saving technology’ to provide fresh produce, create jobs, reduce poverty and create new sustainable ecosystems.

a diagram of tree planting technology the Groasis growboxx and waterboxx
Diagram of a functioning Growboxx®

Triple 90 Benefits

Groasis touts ‘triple 90 benefits.’ This means planting with 90% cheaper methods, using 90% less water, and carrying a survival rate of more than 90%. Succeeding in this has lead to numerous awards from a top 100 most innovative company in the Netherlands to the victors of the ‘Pioneering and Sophisticated Innovations serving the Agricultural Sector” category at the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agriculture Innovation in Abu Dhabi. In 2016 Pieters startup was branded as a National Icon of the Netherlands. 

One of the revolutionary products they’ve created is the Waterboxx® plant cocoon. The traditional method of watering planted trees is with drip irrigation, a technique that uses between 15-50 liters of water daily per tree. Staggeringly 50% of this water is lost due to evaporation. The Groasis Waterboxx® allows for trees to be planted in desert conditions for around $2.50, nearly 90% cheaper under these harsh growing conditions. Additionally, the device can be reused up to 10 times.

Survival rate over 90%

This device allows for trees to be planted with over 90% success rate in places like Santa Helena, Ecuador where temperatures during planting season reach 41˚C (106˚F) while receiving only 111mm of rain on average. At this location there is also the highest radiation levels on earth, but Groasis has designed the cocoon to thrive under these circumstances. Groasis makes reforestation and agriculture possible where it otherwise would not be.

tree growing technology being used in the harshest, driest, hottest deserts.
Trees grew two meters tall after a single year in Ancon Lima, Peru where decades have passed between rainfall

There are single use, biodegradable plant cocoons that can grow trees on sand dunes, rocks/mountains, eroded regions and in burned forests. Thousands of these cocoons have sprouted trees in more than 30 countries. In Kuwait, where temperatures can exceed 50˚C in the desert, the Waterboxx® plant cocoon was able to plant Ghaf trees at a 100% survival rate.

Trees planted in Ancon Lima, Peru, an area that had not received rainfall for more than 20 years, grew 2 meters tall. This strip of land stretches from Peru’s Sechura Desert to the Atacama Desert of Chile, referred to as the driest non polar land on the entire planet. Less than 2 inches of water falls in Lima annually, but some places of this desert region see less than a quarter inch per year.

Tree planting in Africa has also proven highly successful, with projects having been executed in the Sahara desert. 

Tree planting how to’s and success videos

Groasis offers numerous tutorials on how they planted a plethora of species in a variety of different conditions as well as tons of informative content. Their YouTube channel displays more than 100 videos in 26 countries highlighting the companies successful projects and strategies. A separate channel has educational content teaching viewers organic vegetable growing.

For those interested in starting an ecosystem restoration project, visit here for project implementation tips. The tree planting technology is also used to plant orchards in developed nations for profits along with their reforestation efforts across the globe. 

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