UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 2: Zero Hunger

  • Goal 12: Responsible Production & Consumption

  • Goal 13: Climate Action

  • Goal 15: Life on Land

2016 Ray of Hope Grand Prize Winner

Quillota, Chile

Innovation Details

A team from the Ceres Regional Center for Fruit and Vegetable Innovation in Chile designed a device to protect growing seedlings that emulates the way hardy “nurse plants,” such as the South American yareta (Azorella compacta), establish themselves in degraded soils and pave the way for new plant species to grow.

The conventional model of agricultural production uses large amounts of chemical inputs, which lead to tired soil and loss of biological soil functionality and fertility. Worldwide, 25% of soils are degraded and commercial orchards in Chile each year lose about 3% of trees due to these factors. The LifePatch was created to return vitality to the soil by improving conditions for seedlings and exposing them to a mix of nutrients. LifePatch is fabricated with natural fibers, and biodegrades after one season. The plants growing from it will be capable of reproducing the same conditions in a natural way and, after two or three seasons, the soil will be productive again.

Image: LifePatch / LifePatch / Copyright © - All rights reserved

LifePatch prototype