Mexican invention seeks to tackle drought
Hidalgo State in Central Mexico is an agricultural region where water is a precious commodity. The state provides corn and other basic staples to the rest of the country, but droughts in recent years have local farmers worried. Marcos Leon and his family have worked the land for generations.
“When it comes to water here, there are no subterranean aquifers we can draw from,” Leon said. “The wet season runs from June until September and it is impossible to farm in the dry season.”
But one local invention has offered at least a partial solution to this critical lack of water. It’s called ‘Solid Rain’, a crystallized polymer that can absorb and retain up to 500 times its own weight in water.
Solid Rain helps plants hold more water and preserve moisture and is used in Latin America, India and parts of Africa. The company said the product retains water through even the driest seasons and does so in an entirely eco-friendly way.
“With the solid rain product, we are able to sew our seeds a month early, during a time when it is very dry and normally impossible,” Leon said. “In this way, by making the most of the entire rainy season, we are certain of a better harvest.”
While its cost can still be prohibitive for Mexico’s poorest farmers, the company behind the product said Solid Rain can help most farmers make a better living.
“If we can make farming profitable, then the farmers won’t have the need to migrate, which happens a lot in this country,” Leonardo Rico, a Director at Lluvia Solida said. “By empowering them, we can give them the opportunity to optimize the lot or little that they might have, to give them a big push towards a better life.”