Dubai petrol firm uses drones to shoot tree seeds into the desert

Dubai petrol delivery group CAFU has employed drones to plant thousands of tree seeds in the UAE desert as part of its strategy to become carbon neural.

CAFU has completed two rounds of planting with over 10,000 seeds in the desert this year using drone technology and first-of-its-kind planting mechanism designed by the CAFU engineers in the region.

Last year, the team at CAFU went through an R&D process to test optimal germination of the Ghaf seed in the harsh desert landscape, which shed light on certain requirements such as the need for a seed ball mixture with the right ratio of nutrients to help the seeds germinate, and that these seed balls needed to be planted to a depth of 1 centimetre below the ground.

CAFU’s team of engineers have designed and developed an in-house pressurised air mechanism built into the drone, which shoots the seed balls to the required depth, while also geotagging the location to track its progress.

So far, the team have undergone two rounds of planting in the Mleiha Desert and expect germination over the coming months. “Our motivation, since the time we launched in 2018, has been to set convenience in motion to make life better for our customers and residents, not just through our services, but through our ethos and values.

This is why we set out the ‘CAFU Sustainability Deal’ last year, to act as a responsible business by taking real steps forward in our sustainability agenda to reduce the impact on our environment and the world we live in”, said Rashid Al Ghurair, Founder and CEO, CAFU.

“The Ghaf Tree Project, which forms the central pillar of our sustainability deal, is very close to my heart and I am happy to see the impact we are making on the UAE through this project”, he added.