Recovery agriculture

Restoration of high sodium soils.


2013 - Strategic Design / Product Design 

Surco Fértil was a project with a great team: Alejandro Fenoglio and Marco Filipic.

Argentina is one of the countries with more sodium soils, which makes agriculture difficult in some regions and does not allow the development of the communities that live there. With our team we wonder if we could connect agricultural waste from other areas with this problem, generating a systemic solution.


Featured in the Book of Innovations 2014


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Saline soils

Argentina is the third country with the largest area of saline-sodium soils, behind Russia and Australia. This type of soil does not allow the development of the crop because of the amount of sodium and the hardness of the surface.


13 million hectares with saline-sodium soils. 45,000 people with Unsatisfied Basic Needs.


Agroindustrial wastes

In northern Argentina there are many industrial tree plantations such as eucalyptus. These crops generate 100 tons of waste (pruning and thinning) in each maintenance.


These wastes are currently burned in the plantations, causing serious risks of fire and pest spread as well as being a nuisance and obstacle to the workers that circulate around the place.

Agroindustrial Waste Journey map


Reframing the challenge - Being circular

How might we use this organic waste to recover saline soils in another region of the country?


Surco Fértil is a biodegradable horticultural cultivation system produced from organic waste whose objective is the immediate cultivation in soils of high saline-sodium content and its long-term recovery, providing self-production possibilities for own consumption of populations installed in these soils and the possibility of them becoming small producers in the future.

Design Concept:

Ephemeral protection

By collecting agroindustrial wastes, compressing them in a shaped matrix and inoculating them with a fungus (mycelium), we can generate a new material stopping fungus growth and biodegradation.


Surco Fértil is manufactured using this material. It forms a protective layer where plants can strengthen their roots to penetrate the saline soil. Surco fértil biodegrades once it has fulfilled its function.


Growth line

Where the plants grow

Planting Module

Protect and strengthen the roots

Water channel

Provide the necessary water to the plants


Traditional inspiration

Its design seeks to adapt to the classic cultivation method practiced in horticulture.



Made with agroindustrial organic waste and agglomerated with mycelium (vegetative body), naturally developed by fungi.


Crop organizer

A code of points in the modules and in the seed bags helps to maintain the optimum distance between the different plants.


Humidity distribution

Thanks to the properties offered by the material, Surco Fértil allows you to intelligently manage the water dosage.

Journey Map to be


Prototyping process

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