2020 | Japan | Hiroki Matsuhashi, Takuma Miyaki

Controlling soil runoff and increasing food production by the functional water collection system using traditional Japanese soil solidification technology: “Ta-Ta-Ki”

Water issue adressed: Too little

The severe food crisis exists in the arid and semi-arid areas around the world due to the shortage of adequate agricultural water resources, especially during the dry season. In this research, by applying “Ta-Ta-Ki” soil, a traditional Japanese soil solidification  technology, we developed a novel multifunctional water collection system to control soil runoff and increase food production with low environmental impact and low cost, and this system can be adapted to developing countries, especially in the arid and semi-arid areas.

This system is made by solidifying compost-containing soil and sand by slaked lime, and contributes to food production with the following advantages: (1) the water storage  by collection and retention of rainwater during the rainy season; (2) the supply of nutrients to poor soil; and (3) the control of soil runoff caused by rainfall.

This inexpensive solidification technology with high operability can be an effective solution to environmental problems around the world, besides the areas with the demand for food production, as mentioned above. Furthermore, it can also be used as a simple dike to suppress soil runoff into rivers and ponds which may lead to sediment accumulation and consequent flooding.

Project video

This is how I came up with the idea for this project:

We learned in geography class that many developing countries in dry area have food problems because it is difficulut to collect agricultural water. Inspired by Japan's national sport "sumo wrestling", we started to develop a new multifunctional water collection system based on “Ta-Ta-Ki” soil to solve food and water problems.


Ania Andersch

Programme manager ania.andersch@siwi.org +46 8 121 360 59