Cactus pear (Opuntia spp) makes a valuable contribution to the food security and nutrition of people throughout the world wherever water is scarce. The plant is highly versatile and in addition to feeding people, it is widely used for livestock feed, biofuels, fertilizers and is used to protect the environment in which it is grown. Cactus plants can provide the basis for economically viability in rural arid and semi arid communities.
Many productive sectors use cactus pear fruits and their fleshy leaves as industrial raw material for cosmetics, alcoholic drinks and food additives as well as other products linked to the pharmaceutical industry. The cactus plant is also used as a living fence in gardens and fields, it helps contain water and mud, and it is an excellent natural wind fence to combat erosion and desertification.
Cactus pear and other cacti were probably among the plants and animals brought back to Spain by Christopher Columbus as samples of the exotic flora of the New World. Where the Nopal Cactus has exceptional potential is in fighting desertification and helping restore arid and semi arid lands. Where this becomes exceptionally powerful is when the opportunity to build the carbon credits into the local economy.
We have pioneered technology that will generate biogas from the digestion of Nopal Cactus leafs. The leaves are harvested and enter into an anaerobic digester (with a proprietary microbial consortium additive) that produces methane (CH4). The biogas is sustainable, clean and provides an alternative energy source instead of fossil fuels.
There are many uses for the Nopal Cactus. These include the food and beverage industry, and livestock feed, but higher value opportunities also lie in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food supplements, construction and textiles. The Nopal Cactus has the advantage of multiple uses in different agro-industries.