China’s largest desert Taklimakan is known as the Sea of death because of the land’s high salt content.
Now, however, thanks to the use of modern farming methods, it’s fringes are blossoming.
Along the rim of the dried lake in northwest China, part of the remote Lop Nur area, plants are growing after a line of fertiliser was applied.
The totally water-soluble potassium fertiliser being tested is transforming formerly barren and lifeless land.
While traditional potash products have proved to be unsuitable due to their coarseness, the water-soluble potassium is easier for the soil to absorb.
After working with farmers in the region, the SDIC Xinjiang Luobupo Potash company has set up a production facility turning out 1.5 million tonnes of potassium sulphate and a further 100,000 tonnes of potassium sulphate magnesium fertilisers under the brand name Luobupo.
China has in the past largely relied on imports of potassium fertilisers so the production of this new product is a huge step forward.
More than 18 million tonnes of Luobupo potassium fertiliser has been supplied to the Lop Nur area, satisfying almost half its total needs.
The development of the fertiliser plant follows the discovery, made during the 1990s, of the world’s largest sulphate potassium brine deposit at Lop Nur.
The region has a challenging climate characterised by regular high winds and an annual railfall of just 39mm.
The SDIC Xinjiang Luobupo Potash company utilises brackish water from the edge of the desert to produce its fertiliser, saving on freshwater.
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