Kiera Nirghin inset.

Clap For This 16-Year-Old African Schoolgirl: She May Just Have Revolutionised How Crops ‘Drink’ Water

IN case you missed it, a 16-year-old South African schoolgirl reminded us yet again that humanity can rise to the occasion and overcome resource scarcity.

Kiara Nirghin, was recently awarded Google’s Science Fair Community Impact Award for her invention, “No More Thirsty Crops.”

She has potentially invented a way to improve farmers’ ability to grow crops in some of the most drought-prone regions across Africa.

The Johannesburg teen’s innovation is made from orange peels and avocado skins, making it easy to reproduce even for impoverished farmers, and it “can hold hundreds of times its weight in water, in the soil.”

The “super absorbent polymer” functions as a natural, in-ground store of water for the surrounding crops. The hope is that the teen’s invention will enable some of the continent’s farmers who are most affected by droughts and changes to the climate to operate their farms more effectively.



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