‘No More Thirsty Crops’ scores JHB teen a Google Science Fair prize

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A grade 11 student of St Martin’s School, Kiara Nirghin, based her project on a natural super-absorbent polymer that allows soil to retain massive amounts of water. Using orange peels and avocado skins, Nirghin’s project displayed the ability to retain water 100 times the weight of the polymer itself, winning her $50 000 (R677 357) in scholarship funding.

One of the highlights of Nirghin’s invention is that it could aid in forming reservoirs to assist with agricultural operations, particularly in the face of a drought (the driving force behind her ingenuity). In addition to this, the polymer substance converts natural waste into a useful tool with which to reduce the costs and improve yield rates associated with agribusiness.