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Pongamia 5781-A - Below ground biomass, desert stabilization and transformation into green gardens

This post will unveil another remarkable aspect of our ongoing research, highlighting a distinctive feature of our premier Pongamia 5781-A tree variety. Today's focus centers on the findings concerning the below-ground biomass, specifically delving into the crucial role played by the root system.

The root system of trees, often overlooked yet indispensable, is a vital component akin to the visible parts like leaves and branches that form the canopy. A robust root system is synonymous with the overall health and vigor of the tree. Any impairment or inadequate development in this domain stunts growth and affects yield.

Functionally, tree roots serve two primary roles:

  1. Mechanical Function: They provide structural support, anchoring the tree in place.

  2. Nutritional Function: Facilitate the uptake of essential minerals and water crucial for sustenance and growth.

Notably, up to 20% of the organic carbon produced through photosynthesis finds its way to the roots. Moreover, the root system is a natural bulwark against soil erosion, a pressing concern in the face of global escalating desertification. The alarming rate of desert expansion underscores the urgency to address this issue, making endeavors such as The Great Green Wall Project and the future Smart carbon plantations in the Arab Gulf countries and Africa imperative, a cause closely monitored by KESSLER.

The ensuing challenge lies in devising natural methods to rehabilitate deserts and degraded soil to foster biodiversity, revive ecosystems, and reclaim agricultural viability.

Our extensive research included conventional testing across three soil types:

  1. Desert and degraded soil.

  2. Soil potting mix.

  3. Soil from the Mediterranean region of Central Israel.

As depicted in the accompanying graph, in the initial year (2022), the root system of our 5781-A genetic variety exhibited consistent development across all soil types. This highlights the resilience of this variety, which can thrive in diverse climatic conditions owing to advanced cultivation technologies pioneered by the Israeli ARO Institute.

A significant breakthrough occurred in the subsequent year (2023), marked by unprecedented root growth on sandy/sterilized soil, surpassing that observed in fertile soils (potting mix, Central Israel) by more than twofold, as illustrated in the graph.

These findings further corroborate the exceptional strength and elite status of the 5781-A variety within the Pongamia tree species.

Notably, the extensive root system also aids in nitrogen distribution within the soil, a property inherent to our 5781-A genetic variety, with detailed results slated for discussion in a forthcoming post.

In conclusion, the 5781-A variety is a reassuring solution for rejuvenating desert and degraded areas. It facilitates the transformation of arid landscapes into lush greenery and productive agricultural zones and serves as a sustainable source of low-carbon renewable feedstock for fuel and energy production. Significantly, this model of raw material production, based on the 5781-A variety, mitigates concerns of food competition and land misuse, effectively combating desertification while naturally restoring agricultural viability in barren regions.

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